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D.V.P. No. 574-SQ-7.75-*20,Q0Q 


(Delhi University Library Sostem) 
' vU-> (TEXT-BOOK) 

Ac. No. *y —i^j* XT^T ^ ate °^ re ' ease *° r ^ oan 

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Aguas do Gange, e a terra de Bengal^ 
Fertil de sorte que outra ndo Ihe iguala. 

Camoes, Lusiadas, Canto VII, Stanza xx. 

Here by the mouths, where hallowed Ganges ends, 
Bengala's beauteous Eden wide extends. 


Portuguese la Bengal, 1919 






Joint Editor, The Century Review, 
Member, Asiatic Society ok Bengal, 



The Hon'ble Mr. F. J. MONAHAN, i.c.s. 

Presidency Commissioner of Bengal. 


BUTTERWORTH & CO. (India), Ltd., 6, Hastings St. 

Butterworth & Co. (Canada), Ltd. 

Sydney : 

Butterworth & Co. (Australia), Ltd. 


BUTTERWORTH & CO., Bell Yard, Temple Bar, 

flDe&tcat flubUsbers 



Mr. Campos has collected some interesting facts relative 
to the commercial, political and religious enterprises of the 
Portuguese in Bengal. The work done by the Portuguese as 
pioneers of European commerce in this part of India has not, 
perhaps, been sufficiently recognized, for it may truly be 
said that they paved the way for the commercial ventures 
of the Dutch, the English and other European nations. Mr. 
Campos quotes an array of authorities in support of his 
account, which shows that the Portuguese, at the beginning 
of the seventeenth century, occupied a position in Bengal 
comparable to that of the British in the middle of the 
eighteenth, with their settlements and factories, not only at 
the principal ports, Hughli and Chittagong, but at many other 
places in Eastern and Western Bengal, and as far up the 
Ganges as Patna. The earliest British mercantile adven- 
turers in Bengal and the adjacent countries established them- 
selves, naturally, at places where the Portuguese had already 
found openings for European commerce. Some of the 
Portuguese settlements in Bengal became virtually independ- 
ent of the Mughal rulers of India, being directly subject, 
for a time, to the jurisdiction of the Portuguese Government 
of Ceylon. 

The causes of the decline of the Portuguese power in the 
East, and the hostilities between the Portuguese in Bengal 
and the Mughal Emperor, culminating in the Mughal attack 
on Hughli, the heroic defence, and the tragic fall of that 
place, are briefly sketched in this book. There is a striking 
parallel between the early history of Hughli and that of 
Calcutta, though the circumstances of the taking of Hughli 
by Kasim Khan in 1632, differed greatly from those of the 


capture of Calcutta by Siraj-ud-daula in 1756, which led 
to the establishment of the British Empire in India. 

The Portuguese were the first to introduce Christianity 
in Bengal, and their Missionaries of different Orders were 
active at all their settlements. Christian Churches and 
settlements still existing are the most conspicuous and endur- 
ing memorials of Portuguese influence in this province. 

The first type-printed works in the Bengali language were 
a Catechism, a Compendium of the Mysteries of the Faith, and 
a Vocabulary, published at Lisbon in 1743. It is difficult to 
realize now, that, at one time, Portuguese was the common 
language of the important centres of maritime commerce in 
India, spoken by Europeans of all nations, who came to 
trade in this country and by the Indians who did business 
with them. Current Indian languages contain many Portu- 
guese words, most of them connected with trade, or the 
Christian religion, or names of articles of common use, 
imported from Europe. 

Mr. Campos has evidently devoted much care to the com- 
pilation of the book and has drawn on Portuguese sources 
not often utilized by students in this country. He has been 
careful to refer to the authorities for statements made by him 
and his work is, I think, an useful contribution to the history 
of Bengal and bibliography of the subject with which it 

Calcutta, 9-1-19. 



This work has grown out of a series of lectures delivered 
on the "History of the Portuguese in Bengal," in com* 
memoration of the fourth centenary of the advent of the 
Portuguese in the Bay of Bengal.* It is scarcely necessary 
to explain the raison cCitre of the book for, in spite of 
the existence of vast stores of material for a history of the 
Portuguese in Bengal, there is not a single comprehensive 
work on the subject. Most of the information about the 
Portuguese, given in modern historical writings and scattered 
in the Calcutta Journals and in the Bengal District Gazetteers, 
is fragmentary and often erroneous. 

No Portuguese writings, except Captain Stevens' mis- 
leading translation of Faria y Souza's History, have been 
generally taken into account, and some errors of Faria y Souza 
himself, which F. Danvers perpetuated, have gained ground. 
Considering that the Portuguese were the earliest Europeans 
to found settlements in Bengal, that other European nations 
generally established themselves on or near the very 
places which had grown into centres of trade owing to the 
Portuguese, and that the influence which the Portuguese once 
exerted is still working silently in Bengal, a work presenting 
their history in a correct perspective is evidently a pressing 
need. The production of this book will, I hope, supply this 
long-felt need. I am conscious of its many imperfections which 
were unavoidable owing to the stress of other duties which 
left me little leisure, but I have spared no effort to sift 
truth from tradition, to obtain unvarnished historical accuracy, 

* The lectures were delivered at April, 191 8, the first and the second 

the Union Chapel Hall, Calcutta, under being presided over by the Hon'ble Mr. 

the auspices of the Indo- Portuguese Justice W. Greaves, and the third by 

Association and the Young Men's Union, the Hon'ble Mr. P. J. Monahan, I. C. S. 

on the 3rd, the loth, and the 17th Presidency Commissioner of Bengal. 



and to present a v connected account of the rise, the fall and 
the relics of the Portuguese in Bengal. 

In the preparation of this work I cannot claim to have 
exhausted all the sources of information, but I can say I have 
utilized the chief Portuguese writings and balanced them 
with contemporary foreign and Indian writings. The im- 
portance of the Portuguese writings lies in that they give 
valuable information not only about the Portuguese doings 
in Bengal but also about the general history and geography 
of Bengal. In this work I have, however, confined myself 
to the essential facts about the Portuguese only, compelled as 
I was by other duties to set narrow limits to it. In the near 
future, it is my intention to bring out a contribution to the 
History and Geography of Bengal, based on Portuguese and 
other European writings, which have not yet been utilized or 
exist in scarce and scattered fragmentary studies. The 
materials for such a work are numerous and should fill volumes. 

I must express my gratitude to the Hon'ble Mr. F. J. 
Monahan, I. C. S. for generously consenting to write an intro- 
duction for the work, to Mr. O. Lys, Acting Consul for 
Portugal for much encouragement and a donation towards the 
costs of printing, to Dr. H. W. B, Moreno B. A. Ph. D v my 
learned colleague in The Century Review^ for many valuable 
' suggestions, to Mr. H. M. Rogers, who has always been my 
ready helper, to Mr. E. Boxwell and Dr. P. Braganca e Cunha 
for much kindly assistance, and to Mr. S. P. Banerjee for care- 
fully revising the proof sheets. 

My thanks are due in a special measure to the Revd. Fathers 
of the St. Xavier's College, my old professors, for having kindly 
placed at my disposal, their " Count Gcethals Indian Library," 
which contains valuable Portuguese works . and also to the 
Revd. Vicars of the Portuguese Churches in Bengal, who very 
kindly furnished me with information regarding the Churches 
entrusted to their care. 


I owe a debt of gratitude to the management of The 
Bengal Past and Present, for their courtesy in lending for this 
book, the blocks of the illustrations facing pages, 58, 108, and 


The orthography followed in the book is that of the 
Bengal Gazetteers, but the Portuguese proper names, with 
a few exceptions, have been spelt as in the Portuguese 









A General Outline— The Taking of Ceuta, 1415— Prince 
Henry, the Navigator—England, an Ally— First Discoveries 
— The Dawn of Trade— Prince Henry's last Successes— Dom 
Affonso V, 1438-1481 — Dom Joao II, 1481-1495— Peres de 
Covilhao and Paiva Affonso— Bartholomeu Dias, i486— 
Vasco da Gama, 1497-1498— The Period of Conquests— King 
Manoel, 1495-1521— Dom Joao III, 1521-1557— Dom 
Sebastiao, 1557-1578— The Extent of Trade— The Epic— The 
Verdict ... ***/ ••* ••• i*-™i8 




Bengal at the time of the Advent of the Portuguese— The 
^Bengalas"— Geograp^of BengaJ— Chittagong— Satgaon— 
Topography of the Hooghly — Bengal, an attraction for Pirates 
—Bengal Trade ... ... ... ... 19—25 



The First Traders— D. Joao de Silveira, 15 17-15 18— Ruy 
Vaz Pereira, 1526— Martim Affonso de Mello Juzarte, 1528 
—The Ransom of Martim Affonso de Mello, 1529— Second 
expedition under Martim Affonso de Mello, 1533— Antonio 
da Silva Menezes, 1534-Sher Shah, 1535— Diogo Rebello, 

1535— Sher Shah's Invasions and the Portuguese Successes, 

1536— First Settlements in Chittagong and Satgaon, 1536- 

1537 — Affonso Vaz de Brito, 1538— The Campaigns of Sher 

Shah and Hum&yun, 1538— Vasco Peres de Sampayo, 1538.., 26—43 






Hooghly— Common Errors about the Portuguese Settle- 
ments in the Hooghly District—The First Settlement, Sat- 
gaon, 1537-1538 — A Muhammadan Account of the Settle- 
ments—Other Accounts— Second Settlement, Hooghly, 1579- 
1580— Pedro Tavares, the Founder of the Settlement of 
Hooghly, 1579*1580— When Hooghly was founded ... 44—54 



Hooghly, 1580— The Decline of Satgaon— Question of a 
Fort in Hooghly— Portuguese Government in Hooghly — 
Derivation of 'Hooghly* ... ... ... ... 55-65 



Chittagong, 1537— Capture of the Fort of Chittagong— 
Sandwlp, 1602— Battles with the King of Arakan— Second 
Attack on Sandwlp — Career of Caivalho— The Sites of the 
Portuguese Settlements— 'Cidade de Bengala'— The Settle- 
ment of Dianga— Filippe de Brito e Nicote — The Massacre 
ofDianga, 1607. ••• ••• ••• ••• 66—80 



SebastiSo Gonsalves Tibau, 1605-07-— Sandwlp, Further 
History-— The Second Conquest of Sandwlp, 1610— Gonsalves, 
an Independent Ruler, 1607-1610— Marriage Relations 
between the Portuguese and the Royal Family of Arakan— 
Gonsalves, a treacherous ally, 1610 ... ... 81—87 






Dacca— Sripur— Chandccan— B&kla — Catrabo — Loricul 
-Bhulua— Hljill— Tamluk— Pipli— Balasore ... ... 88—99 



The Jesuits — Bengali Children Educated in Goa— Jesuits, 
1617 — Augustinians — Augustinians in Chittagong, 1621— 
Missionary Disasters, 1632— The Return of the Augustinians 
1633— The Return of the Jesuits, 1640—The Rivalry between 
the Portuguese and other Missions, 1834 ... ... 100 — 111 



Porto Grande — Porto Pequeno— Manrique's Account of 
Portuguese Trade — East India Co. Records — Portuguese 
Exports — Local Commerce and Industries. ... ... 112— 120 






General Decline — The Follies of the Spanish King — The 
Dutch in Bengal— The English in Bengal— The French in 
Bengal— The Danes in Bengal ... ... ... 121—127 



The Siege of Hooghly (1632), Causes— Muhammadan 
Versions of the 'Casus Belli'— The Siege— The forces engaged 
in the Attack and in the Defence— First attack— The fight 
continues— The Flight, Sept. 241114632— The Losses on either 
side— The Survivors — The Prisoners ... ... 128—140 





The Return to Hooghly, 1633— The Privileges of the 
Portuguese— The Explanation of the Return— The Miracle— 
The Property of the Crown or the Church—After the 
Return— Commercial Rivalry. ... ... ... 141— 153 



The Fall of Gonsalves, 1615—1616— Character of 
Gonsalves— The Rise of Piracy— The Offer of Chittagong to 
the Mughals— Portuguese relations with Piracy— The Pirate 
Damiao Bernaldes— The Practices of the Pirates— Shatsta 
Khan's Conquest of Chittagong (1665— 66) ... ... 154—168 

PART 111 




General outlines— Portuguese Descendants or Luso- 
Indians— The Portuguese Language— Portuguese Archaeo- 
logical remains— Geographical names— Plants introduced 
by the Portuguese in Bengal. ... ... ... 169—176 



General— The Goans or the Goanese— Common 
Luso- Indian Surnames in Bengal— Common Luso-Indian 
Christian names in Bengal— Different elements in the. 
Luso-Indian community— First Group, Pure Indians with 
Portuguese names— Second Group, True Luso-Indians — 
Third Group, Luso-Indians with English names— Luso- 
Jndian Merchants— The Barrettos— The de Sonzns-Luso. 



Indian Soldiers and mercenaries in the Eighteenth century— 
Luso- Indians in the English and in the Nawab's army— 
The Luso-Indians during the capture of Calcutta and the 
Black Hole Tragedy— The Sack of Hooghly, 1756 — Luso- 
Indian militia — Luso-Indian life — In Eastern Bengal— 
Luso- Indian statistics, Calcutta — In Hooghly — In Midnapore 
— In Eastern Bengal — Chittagong, Noakhali, Bakarganj, 
Dacca ... ... ... ... ... 177^203 



General — Luso-Indian and Feringhi words — Anglo-Indian 
words of Portuguese Origin — Bengali words of Portuguese 
Origin — Assamese words of Portuguese Origin— Oorya words 
of Portuguese Origin — Hindustani words of Portuguese 
Origin ... ... ... ... ... 204—227 


Bandel Convent, Hooghly : Privileges of the Convent — 
1757 — Public Faith and Traditions — A Nunnery — Immorality 

in Bandel? ... ... ... ... ... 228 — 238 

The Roman Catholic Cathedral, Murghihatta, Calcutta : 
Foundation, 1689 — Protestant worship in the Church — Erec- 
tion of the present building ... ... ... 238 — 243 

Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Boitakhana, Calcutta ... 243—244 

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Dharamtala Street, 

Calcutta ... ... ... ... ... 245 

The Church of Jesus, Maria, Jos6, Chinsura ... 245 — 246 

Church of Santa Madre de Dues, Serampore ... 246 

St. Patrick's Church, Dum-Dum ... ... 246 — 247 

Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Nagori, Dacca ... 247 — 249 

Church of Our Lady of Rosary, Tesgaon, Dacca ... 249 

Church of Our Lady of Rosary, Hasnabad, Dacca ... 249 — 250 

Church of the Holy Ghost, Tuital, Dacca ... 250 

Church of Our Lady of Piety, Dacca ... 250 

Church of Our Lady of Guidance, Shibpur, Bakarganj ... 251—252 





I., Some Plants introduced by the Portuguese in Bengal... 253 — 258 

II. Appeal of a Portuguese from Calcutta to Queen 

D. Maria I of Portugal (1784) ... 258—262 

III. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, a Luso- Indian Poet ... 263 — 265 

IV. Feringhi Kali, Calcutta ... ... ... 265 — 266 

V. Early Indian Christians of Eastern Bengal 266 — 268 

VI. The Dominicans in Bengal ... ... ... 268 — 269 

VII. A Governor of Chittagong slain by the Portuguese ... 269 

VIII. Luso- Indian names ... ... ... 269 






De Barros* Map of Bengal (1550 circa) 

Sketch Map of Hooghly River showing the sites 

of European Settlements ... 
Ruins of a supposed Portuguese fort in Hooghly 
Fr. J. TiefFenthaller's HugU Bander (1765) 
Hooghly Survey Map of 1886, Sheet No. 1, Sect. 1, 
showing the plan of the Northern portion of 
Hooghly ... ... ... ... 

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio 

To face page 44 



Page Line 

22 2 for "joins it higher up" read ''flowing southwards joins 

the Hooghly above Sankrail." 

43 3 for "condutced" read "conducted" 

52 17 for " wife " read "wife's name." 

54 8 for "be "read "he" 

„ note 1 for "Akbarnama" read " History of India" 

go note 1 for " Pilgrimes " read " Pilgrimes, Vol. X." 

93 19 for " wreek " read " wreck " 

94 1 1 for " the earliest settlement " read " one of the earliest 


„ 15 for "was referred " read " referred 

102 4 for " church* " read " church " 

105 2 for " Nicole " read " Nicote's " 

„ 23 for "1622" read "1632" 

107 6 for "280" read "380" 

no 9 and 10 for "The Marquis.. .premier" read "the Portuguese 


115 8 for " cinammon " read " cinnamon " 

118 7 for "unstincted read " unstinted " 

130 8 for "intervened" read "interviewed. 

132 10 for "his" read "her " 

148 13 for "historian" read "historic" 

„ 15 for " seige " read " siege " 

„ 18 for "280 "read "380" 

150 note t for " elsewhere " read " in the Addenda " 

205 23 for " Quaterly " read " Quarterly " 

206 18 for "the some" read "some" 

227 1 for "Bengali" read "Hindustani" 

244 12 for "Jesoph" read "Joseph" 

The references to the pages of The Bengal Past and Present relating to 
the quotations from Manrique's Itinerario are not correct as the pagina- 
tion of the reprints, which were consulted, did not correspond to the 
original pagination of the The Bengal Past and Present. But there will 
be no difficulty in finding the correct page, when the No. of the Journal 
is known. 



Aln-i-Akbarl, The, by Abul Fazl 'Allami. Translated from the 
original Persian in 3 Vols. ; Vol. I by H. Blochmann, Calcutta, 1873 J 
Vols. II and III by H. S. Jarret, Calcutta 1891-94 ,• Printed by the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

Translation by F. Gladwin, 3 Vols., Calcutta 1783*86. 

Albuquerque, Braz &e—Commentarios de Affonso Dalbuguergue. 
These Commentaries of the great Albuquerque were published in Lisbon 
by his son Braz de Albuquerque in 1557 ; were re-printed by him in 1576 
and republished in 1774 in four Vols. They have been Englished by 
W. de Gray Birch and published by the Hakluyt Society in four Vojs., 
(1875-1884). There are some misunderstandings in the translation of 
Birch, which A. C. Burnell puts down to the translator's want of acquain- 
tance with Indian matters. 

Archivo Kacional da Torre do Tombo, Alguns Documentos de— 
Lisboa, 1872. This work contains documents dating from the time of 
Prince Henry upto the year 1 529, and includes many Albuquerque's dis- 

Asiaticne— -Ecclesiastical Chronology and Historical Sketches respect- 
ing Bengal Calcutta, 1803. 

BarbOf a, Doarte— Liuro em que da relaqdo do que viu e ouviu no 
Oriente. The author was the cousin of Magellan and it is possible. 
Magellan himself wrote parts of it. The author gives one of the earliest 
Portuguese accounts, geographical and historical, of the lands he visited 
in the Indies, not ommitting Bengal. Barbosa knew well the Indian 
languages, and Gaspar Correa has great praise for him. A translation of 
the work from a Spanish MS. by the Hon. Henry E. T. Stanley was pub- 
lished by the Hakluyt Society in 1866 under the heading "A Description of 
the Coasts of East Africa ana Malabar. 

Barroi, Joao de ( 1 496-1 570)— Asia : dos Feitos que os Portugueses 
fizeram no Descobrimento e Conquista dos Mares e Terras do Oriente. 
The author was Treasurer and Factor at the India House (Casa da 
India) and made use of all the documents at his disposal. Though he 
never came to India he is a valuable and recognized authority on Portu- 
guese affairs In India. He wrote the work in four Decades in imitation 
of Livy. The first Decade was published in 1552, the second in 1555, 



the third in 1563, and the fourth was left in disorder at the time of the 
author's death. As arranged and completed by Lavanha it was published 
in 1613. The whole history deals with the affairs up to 1539. The best 
edition is the one published along with Couto in 1777-78 in 24 volumes. 
The fourth Decade contains a chapter especially devoted to the history of 
Bengal and an invaluable Map which though published in 1613 is based 
on the author's drawings. Its date maybe roughly set down to 1550, 
and as such it is the earliest Map of Bengal. 

Bartoli — Missione al Gran Mogor del Padre Ridolfo Acquaviva, 
Rome, 1 7 14. 

Bernier, Francois— Travels in the Mogul Empire, (1656—1668) 
translated by A. Constable and revised by V. Smith. Second edition, 1914. 

Beveridge, E.—The District of Bdkarganj, its History and Statistics, 
London, 1876. 

Bicker, J. P. Z.—Collecqdo de Tratados e Concertos de Paxes, 14 vols., 
Lisboa, 1881-1887. The twelfth volume contains two valuable docu- 
ments regarding the Bandel Church. 

Blochmann, H. — Contributions to the Geography and History of 
Bengal, Calcutta 1873, reprinted from the Journal of the Asiatic Society 
of Bengal. The work relates to the Muhammadan Period A, D. 1203 
to 1538. 

Ain-i-Akbari, Vol. I, vide s.v. Ain-i-Akbari. 

Bocarro, Antonio( + l628)— Decada XIII da Historia da India, (161 2 
— 1617). Lisboa, 1876. The author was the successor of Couto in 
Goa. He continued the decades of Couto, as the latter continued those of 
de Barros. The work of Bocarro is not, however, a real continuation 
of Couto as between the chronicles of the two authors there is a lapse of 
twelve years during which five Governors ruled Portuguese India. 

Bowrey, Thomas— .4 Geographical Account of Countries Round the 
Bay of Bengal (1669— 1679), Edited by Sir R. C. Temple and published 
by the Hakluyt Society, 1905. 

Bradley-Birt, P. B.—The Romance of an Eastern Capital, London, 

Bnrnell, A. C.—vide Yule 

Cabral, Pr. Joao, (S. J.)— The Fall of Hooghly. This is a letter 
written from Ceylon on November 14, 1633. Fr. Cabral was an eye- 
witness of the siege of Hooghly. Its translation by the Rev. Fr. L. 
Besse has been published in the Catholic Herald of India, Calcutta, 
January, the 30th, 1918 and succeeding Nos. 



Cacegtt, Fr. LVLIB—Historia de San Domingos % reformada e atnpli- 
ficada por Sousa, 4 vols., 1767. 

Camoes, Lais He—Os Lusiadas, first published in Lisbon 1572. Besides 
being one of the greatest Epics of the world, the Lusiadas, is a valuable 
history and contains graphic descriptions of Indian scenes, places, customs 
and manners. The two complete translations of the poem are those of 
Mickle and Burton. 

Careri, Gemelli— A Voyage Round the Worlds in Churchill's Collection 
of Voyages Vol., IV. Third Ed., London, 1745. 

Castanheda, Fernao Lopes de (+1559)— Historia do Descobrimento 
e Conquista da India pelos Portugueses, 8 books. Coimbra 1551 — 1561. 
The author came especially to, and travelled much, in India in order to 
write his history. In date of publication the first book of this history is 
anterior to that of de Barros's. It covers the period from 1497 to 1549. The 
accuracy of Castanheda's history is unquestionable. There were ten books 
written but the last two were destroyed by the King as they contained 
unvarnished truth, not complimentary to Portugal. Faria y Souza, 
however, finds fault with Castanheda's style and with his Geography but 
gives him the credit of the accuray of his statements. A translation 
into English by N. L [itchfield] was published in 1582, but as Burnell 
points out it differs from both the first and second Portuguese editions. 

Catron, Fr. F. F.— A History of the Mogul Dynasty in India, London 

Census Reports — Birch's Census 0/ Calcutta of 1876, Beverley's Census 
of Calcutta and Suburbs of 1881, O'Malley's Census of Bengal and Calcutta 
of 191 1 

Chronista de Tissuari, Q—vide Cunha Rivara 

Correa, Gaspar — Lendas da India t 4 vols., Lisboa, 1858—64. The 
author came fo India in 1514 and was secretary to Albuquerque. This 
very trustworthy history covers the period between 1497 and 1550. It 
was published for the first time in 1858—64, three centuries after the 
author's death. The first volume is legendary but the other three, beginn- 
ing with Albuquerque, are of great value. His chronology, which diners 
from that of de Barros, is more accurate and has been followed in this 
work. Correa's account of the three voyages of Vasco de Gama have 
been translated by Lord Stanley of Alderley for the Hakluyt Society, 1869 

Cossigny, Charpentier— Voyage au Bengate, 2 vols., Paris, An 7 de 
la Republique Franchise 

Conto, Diogo de( + 16?6)— Asia, Decadas IV— XII, The author was for 



a long time employed at Goa. He wrote nine decades in continuation 
of de Barros treating of the history of the Portuguese from 1526 to 1600. 
The first decade of de Couto overlaps the last decade of de Barros. 
The eleventh decade is lost. The sixth decade was touched up by 
Adeodato, Couto' s brother-in-law, and is not of much value The edition 
consulted is of Lisbon 1778— 1788. 

Crawford, lit. Col. D. Gh— A Brief History of the Hughly District, 
Calcutta, 1903. 

Cros, Fr. J, (S. Z.)—Lettres de S. Francois Xavier, 2 vols. Toulouse 

Cunha Rivara, Joaquim KeliodLoro—Archivo PortuguSs Oriental, 
Nova — Goa, 6 fasciculos, 1857 — 1876. This extinct perodical, contains 
valuable documents found in the government Archives of Portuguese 

— — 0 Chronista de Tissuari 1866. In this monthly periodical edited 
by Cunha Rivara are to be found valuable historical and political 
documents relating to the Portuguese in India. Cunha Rivara was the 
worthy successor of de Barros, Couto and Bocarro. 

Dalgado, S Rodolfo (Monsenhor)— Influencia do vocabulario Portu- 
gues em Linguas Asidticas, Coimbra, 1913. This is a learned work on the 
influence of the Portuguese language on the Asiatic languages, and 
contains lists of Portuguese words in no less than fifty-two Asiatic 

Dalrymple, A— -The Oriental Repertory \ 2 vols. 1808. Printed by 
the E. I. Co., Originally published in numbers, 1791—97. 

Danvers, F. C,—The Portuguese in India, 2 vols., London, 1894. This 
work is very disappointing, in as much as it is no more than a new 
version of Faria y Souza. It contains the errors of Faria y Souza, does 
not take into account the Indian historians and is not written in relation 
to the general history of India. 

Report on the Portuguese Records relating to the East Indies, 

etc., London, 1892. The author was commissioned by | the English 
Government to examine and report on the Portuguese records in the 
public libraries of Portugal and the work contains extracts from some 
documents examined|by the author. 

Diaries— Vide Hedges and Master. 

DocumentoB Remettidos da India— These documents taken from 
Goa to Portugal have been published by the Royal Academy of Lisbon. 
3 vols. 1880-1883. These volumes form the VII, and IXTomosof the 



Colleccao de Monumentos ineditos para Wistaria das Conquistas dos 
Portugueses em Africa, Asia and America. 

Elliot, Sir H. M.~ The History of India as told by its own historians \ 
8 Vols., London 1867-1877. 

Ermes—tfistoria de Portugal. 

Encyclopedia, The Catholic, New York, 1907-14. Contains an 
historical article by Fr. L. Delaunoit S. J. on Catholicism in Bengal 
s. v. Calcutta. 

Faria y Souza, Manoel de ( 1 581- 1649) Portuguesa, 3 Vols., 
Lisbon, 1616-75. The author never came to India but made use of many 
unedited MSS. On the whole this history is only a summary of de Barros. 
A very unfortunate translation of the work by Captain Stevens was 
published in London, 1694-95, some passages being mistranslated, others 
badly summarized and many omitted altogether. Unfortunately this 
bad rendering of a Portuguese history has served as an authority for 
for most writers on Bengal and Burma. 

Federici, C. fo.— Viaggio de M. Caesare de Federici nell India 
Orienlale etc. Venice 1587. In Purchas, Pilgrimes, Glasgow 1905, 
Vol. X, there are "Extracts of Master Ctesar Frederike, his eighteene 
yeares Indian observations", to which references have been made. 

Fitch, Kalph — Voyages to Or muz and so to Goa etc. (1 583-1891). 
Also in Hakluyt, in Purchas and in Pinkerton. The text consulted in this 
work is Horton Ryley's Ralph Fitch, London, 1899. 

Foster, William— The English Factories in India, 9 Vols. Oxford 
1986-1915. This work is a Calendar of documents in the India office, 
British Museum and Public Records Office, ranging from 1618 to 1654. 
These are printed as a continuation of Letters received by the East 
India Company from its servants in the East, 1602-1/, published in 

Gazetteers, Bengal District— Hooghly, 1912, by L. S. S. O'Malley 
and Monmohan Chakravarti ; Chittagong, 1908, by L. S. S. O'Malley ; 
Dacca % 1912, by B. C. Allen; Noakhali 191 1 by J. E. Webster; and 
other volumes. 

Gladwin, F. — Vide Am-i-Akban. 

GlaniUB — A Relation of an Unfortunate Voyage to the Kingdom of 
Bengal^ London 1682. It was first published at Amsterdam. 

Goes, Damiao de. — Commentarii rerum gestarum in India circa 
Gangem a Lusitanis anno 1538, Lonvain 1544. 

Gaerreiro, Fr. Fernao -Rela$am Annual das Cousas que fiseram 
os Padres da Companhia de Jesus nas partes da India Oriental etc. Lis- 



boa 1605, second edition. The Relation on Bengal, Arakan and Pegu in 
Book III, foil. 4K-49V refers to the years 1602 and 1603., -*° Jarric 
follows him closely. 

Hamilton, Captain Alexander— i4 new Account of the East Indies* 
2 vols., London, 1739, second edition. 

Heber, Bishop "St.— Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Pre* 
vinces 0/ India etc. 2 vols., London 1838. 

Hedges, William.— The Diary of Hedges* 3 vols, Hakluyt Edition, 

Hill, S. C— Bengal in T7s6-*757, 3 vols., London, 1905, Published 
in the India Record Series. Contains a selection of papers and docu- 
ments, regarding the affairs of the English during the reign of Siraj-ud- 
daula in Bengal and an author's summary of events at this time. 

Hunter, W. W.—Orissa* 2 vols. 1872. 

Hyde, Henry Barry. —Parochial Annals of Bengal* Calcutta 1901. 
Jarret, H. 8.— Vide Ain-i-Akbarl. 

Jarric, Pierre de (8. J.) 1 566-1616— Histoire des choses Plus Memo- 
rabies etc. 3 vols., Bordeaux 1608-1614. Part IV, Book VI contains 
an account of missionary work in Bengal and Arakan, based on Pimenta, 
or more probably on Fr. Fern So Guerreiro, who utilized the letters in 

Klognen, Fr. CotUnean de.-~.4n Historical Sketch of Goo* Madras 
1831. Reprinted by the Catholic Examiner, Bombay. 

Last, John da.— De Imperio Magni MogoUs sive lndica Vera* 
Commentarius* Leyden 163 1. Partly translated and annotated by E. 
.ethb ridge in the Calcutta Review* October 1870— January 187 1. 

Laflteau, P. Pierre Francois.— Histoire des Decouvertes des Portugais 
dans le Noveau Monde* 2 vols. Paris 17)3. 

Laval, Francois Pyrard de— The Voyage of FranqoU Pyrard 
Translation by Albert Gray for Hakluyt Society, 2 vols., 1887-90. 

Linsohoten, J. H. Van (1563-1633)— J he voyage of John Huyghen 
van Linsckoten to the East Indies. Edited by A. C. Burnell and P. A. 
Tiele for Hakluyt Society, 2 vols. 1885. 

Hanncei, H. — Storia do Mogor* Irvine's translation, London 4 vols. 
1907., Sebastian (41660) -IHntrario de las Missiones, Que hiso 
el P. Maestro Seb. Manrique etc etc Rome 1649 and 1653. Man- 
rique, though a Portuguese, wrote in Spanish like Faria Y. Soma. 
The Itinerarh of Manrique covers the period between 1628 and 
1641 and deals with his travels and experiences in Benrot. 



Arakan, Cochin, Goa, Malacca Macao, Cochin China, Macassar, 
Masulipatam Punjab, Kandahar etc. It contains a valuable account 
of Shah Jahan, his government, his treasures and his dominions. 
Father Cardon S. J. has translated chapters 1—9 dealing with Bengal, 
(Bengal Past and Present Vol. XII Z916) ; F. Cotta chapters 10 — 16 
dealing with Arakan (ibid. Vol., XIII., 1916) ; Sir Edward 
Maclagan Chapters 1-72 (Journal of the Punjab Historical Society, 
Vol. I. 1911-12.) ; Fr. H. Hosten chapters 78-82 dealing with the Fall of 
Hooghly, (The Catholic Herald of India, 17th April 1918 to 12th June 
191 8 Calcutta). 

Marshman, John Clark— The Life and Time of Carey ', Marshman 
and Ward) embracing the History of the Serampore Mission, 2 Vols. 
London 1859. This work is^quoted as History of Cri Ramapur Mission. 

Master, Streynsham— Diaries of Streynsham Master 2 Vols., London 
1911. These Diaries relating to the period 1675-1680, are edited by Sir 
Richard C. Temple and published in the Indian Record Series. 

Mc. Crindle, J. W. — The Commerce and Navigation of the Ery thrown 
Sea, Calcutta, 1879. This work is a translation of the Periplus Mari 
Erythrwi and of Arrian's account of the Voyage of Nearkhos. 

Monseratto, Fr. A. (S. J,)—Mongolicae Legationis Commentaries, 
translated by Fr. Hosten S. J. and published in the Memoirs of the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol. III. 

Murray, Hugh— Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in 
Asia, 3 vols., Edinburgh, 1820. 

N tines, A.—Livro dos Pesos da Ymdia e assy Medidas e Mohedas,s 
1554. Published .in the Subsidios para a Historia da India Portuguesa, 
by the Royal Academy of Lisbon, 1868. 

Oliveira Martins— Historia de Portugal. 

Oriente Portngnes, vide under Periodicals. 

Orme, Robert— History of. ..Hindustan, 2 Vols. London, 1778, 

Orta, Garcia fa—Colloquios dos simples e Drogas e Cousas Medi- 
cinaes da India etc. Originally printed in Goa in 1563 and re-printed in 
Lisbon in 1872. Though the title of the book suggests it is a Pharmaco- 
graphical work, it contains much valuable information on other matters 
respecting India and is characterized by a sound sense. 

Ovington, Rev. F.— -A Voyage to Suratt in the year i6$p, 
London, 1696. 

Phayre, Sir Arthur P.— History of Burma etc. London 1883, 



Fimenta, Fr. Nicolau (1546-1614)— -Car/a que 0 P. N. Pitnenta.., 
escreveu ao Geral a 26 de Novembro de ijqq e ao 10 de Deaembro de 1600. 
This letter of Pitnenta which includes the letters of other Missionaries 
describe the Missionary work in Bengal during 1599 and 1600 and throw 
much light on the conditions of Bengal at the time. The letter was ori- 
ginally written in Latin. A Portuguese version of the letter was pnblished 
in 1602, There are German, Latin and French Versions. Du Jarric 
utilized it freely. 

Purchas, Samuel— Hakluytus Posthumus, His Pilgrimes etc. 
20 Vols. Glasgow 1905. Purchas was assisting Hakluyt to collect the 
materials which the latter did not live to publish. At his death in 1616, 
Hakluyt left the papers for J'urchas. 

His pilgrimage, or Relations of the World tic. 1614. This is really 

a separate work from the above one, though usually bound in continuation 
with it. The edition of 1614 is consulted in the book, 

Roteiro da Viagem, de Vasco da Gama— First edition was pub- 
lished in Lisbon in 1838 and the second in 1861. 

Salim, Grhulam Husain— The Riyasu-s-Salatin, Calcutta 1902. 
The work is translated from the original Persian by Maulvi Abdus Salam 
and published by the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

Santa Maria, A. de- 'Information de un Indio de Bengala que 
vivio 400 annos x Salamaanca 1609. I have not been able to find this 
book, which it appears, throws much light on the history of the Portu- 
guese in Bengal. It is mentioned by Ternaux-Compans in the "Biblio- 
theque Asiatique" and afterwards by A. C. Burnell in his Tentative List 
of Books and some MSS relating to the History of the Portuguese etc. 

Sen, Dinesh Chandra— History of Bengali Literature and 
Language, Calcutta, 191 1.. 

Smith, Oteoxge—Life of William Carey, London, 1885. 

Sonza, Fr. Francisco de, (S. J.) + 171$— Oriente Conquistado a 
Jesu Chris to pelos Padres da Companhia de Jesus etc. Vols. 2, Lisbon 
17 10. A new edition published by the Examiner Press in Bomhay 
in 1886, has been consulted in this work. 

Stavorinus— Voyage to East Indies, translated from the Dutch 
by S. H. Wilcoke, 3 Vols. 1798. 

Stewart, C— History of Bengal, Calcutta 1910, Second edition. 
The original edition was published in. 

Stirling, A.-— An Account of Orissa, Calcutta 1904, reprinted 
from the original edition of 1882. 



Talish, 8hi3}i'U&-&ill—Fathiyah-i-Zbriyah and its Continuation 
(Bodleian Library M S. Bod. No. 589). Talish was in the service of 
Mir Jumla and accompanied him in the invasion of Cooch Behar and 
Assam. H. Blochmann gave a long abstract of the Fathiyahi-Ibriiah in 
the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 1872, Part 1, No. 1 pp. 64-96 
and Jadunath Sarkar has translated the parts relating to the Conquest of 
Chittagong and to the Pirates of Chittagong in the same Journal, 1906 
Vol. II. No. 6 [N.S.I 

Tavernier, J. B.— Travels in India, 2 Vols. London 1889, trans- 
lated and annotated by V. Ball. 

Tannont, Sir J. E. — Ceylon, an account of the Island, 2 Vols. 1859. 

Thevenot, M. to— Relation de divers voyages curieux etc. Paris 
Paris 1696 The second volume contains a valuable Portuguese Map. 

Tieffenthaler, J. Pr. and others — Description Historique et 
Geographique de LInde, 3 Vols., Berlin 1786-88. Vol. 1 contains 
b't. Tieffenthaler's description. 

Toynbee, Sketch of the Administration of the Hooghly 
District from i?qj to 1845, Calcutta 1888. 

Valentyn, Francois— Ond en Nienw Oost Indien, Amsterdam, 5 Vols. 
Fifth Volume (5 de Deel) contains Keurlyke Beschryving van Chorotnan- 
del, Pegu, Arracan Bengale etc. The Map of Bengal and Arakan faces 
p. 146 of Bk. IV. 5 de Deel. 

Valle, Pietro del— Voyages etc. 8 Vols. Paris 1745. 

Varthema, Ludovico de.—Itnerario de Ludovico de Varthema 
etc., 1570. The translation by Dr. G. P. Badger was published by the 
Hakluyt society in 1863. Purchas gives an abridgment. Though Varthema 
relates his travels in Egypt Syria Arakan Persia etc, Garcia de Orta 
(Colloquios f. 29 v and f. 30) denies Varthema's having ever gone beyond 
Calicut and Cochin, a thesis which, Yule aptly says, would not be difficult 
to demonstrate out of the very narrative. 

Westland, J.— A Report on the District of Jessore, Second edition, 
Calcutta 1874. 

Whiteaway, R. S. — The Rise of Portuguese Power in India (1497- 
1550), Westminster, 1899. This history though incomplete, is, indeed, of 
great merit as the author has consulted all Portuguese historians and 
has connected his history with the general history of India, 

Wilson, C. H>.-- Early Annals of the English in Bengal, 2 Vols. 1895- 
191 1. The second volume is in two parts. 

Ynle, Henry, and Burnell, Arther Coke— Hobson-Jobson, A Glossary 
of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words, etc. London, 1903. 




Bengal Catholic Herald, Calcutta (extinct). 
Bengal Past and Present, Calcutta. 
Calcutta Gazette, The, Calcutta. 
Calcutta Review, The, Calcutta. 
Catholic Herald of India, The, Calcutta. 

Indo-European Correspondence, Calcutta (merged into the Catholic 
Herald of India). 

Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta. 

Missions Beiges dela Compagniede Jesus, Bruxelles. This is a monthly 
periodical, published from 1899, ant * its collection contains some articles 
on Portuguese Missionary work in Bengal. 

Oriente Portuguh, O t Nova Goa. This monthly periodical, founded 
in 1904, is devoted to historical and archaeological studies regarding the 
Portuguese in the East. It is a worthy continuation of the 0 Chronisia 
de lissuari and of the Archivo Portugues Oriental. 






Cesse tudo o que a Musa antigua canta, 
Que outro valor mais alto se alevanta.* 

Camdes, Lusiadas Cant. I St. tit. 

Four centuries have sped since the Portuguese first drank 
of the waters of the Ganges. It was 15 17. King Manoel, 

the fortunate {0 venturoso), whose reign 

A Gttteral Outline . 

was immortalized by the discovery of the 
sea-route to India, was on the throne of Portugal. Queen 
Elizabeth was not yet born and over eighty years were yet to 
elapse before she was destined to sign the memorable charter 
which originated the East India Company. Baber had not 
come down from the heights of Kabul to found the Mughal 
Empire. The Portuguese had, however, already established 
the foundation of an Eastern Empire and were already 
pushing their power to Bengal. 

* Cease, ye heavenly Muses, songs of ancient lore, 
A greater star now rises on Creation's shore. 

Trans, J. C. 



D. Joao de Silveira was the first Portuguese commander* of 
an expedition to come to Bengal. In 15 17 he landed on the 
coast of Arakan whence he steered towards Chittagong staying 
in the Bay for a considerable portion of the year 15 18. He had 
come to Bengal not as an itinerant foreigner like the Venetian 
Nicolo Conti or the Bolognese Ludovico Di Varthema. Like the 
ancient Megasthenes, who was perhaps the first European to 
behold the Ganges, Silveira came to Bengal as the envoy of a 
European nation — of that small nation, shot into the western 
corner of Europe, geographically occupying an area of barely 
34,000 square miles but historically great in civic feats and 
martial triumphs. He belonged to that race that had scurried 
the Moors out of Portugal and had hotly pursued them into 
Africa, conquering such possessions as Ceuta, Fez, Morroco, 
Macau, Mozambique, Congo, and Guinea ; that had even pene- 
trated into their stronghold in Asia establishing their supre- 
macy in such rich Eastern centres as Goa, Malacca, Ormuz, 
Cochin and Ceylon. The Portuguese visited Bengal when 
their long-cherished dreams about the creation of an Empire 
in the East were about to be realized. The dawn of the 
sixteenth century had ushered in a period of conquest as the 
close of the fifteenth century had witnessed the culmination 
of discovery. As early as 1494 Spain and Portugal, known 
together as Iberia to Herodotus and the Greeks, and called 
Hispania by the Romans, had already divided between them- 
selves the eastern and western hemispheres. 

A glance on this great movement that revolutionized an 
age and marked a new era in discovery and geographical 
expansion, revealing to man "more than half the globe" ! 

* Silveira commanded the first expedition to Bengal but he was not 
the first Portuguese to come to Bengal, as stated by modern writers. 
Joao Coelho was in Chittagong before Silveira, and many Portuguese, 
specially from Malacca, had come to Bengal in Moorish ships as roving 
traders. Besides, the Portuguese who had settled in PipH (Ortssa) in 1514 
had visited Hljiti (Western Bengal) about the same time. 


On a July morning in the year 1415 the waters of the 
Tagus witnessed the departure of an esquadron of 59 galleons, 

The Taking o/Ceuta, *>3 transports and 120 various kinds of 
'**S vessels carrying 20,000 soldiers and 30,000 

sailors against the Moorish stronghold of Ceuta* On the 21st 
of the next month Ceuta passed into the hands of the Portu- 
guese after a glorious and well-contested fight with the Moorish 
Chiefs. Overwhelmed with joy the King of Portugal knighted 
on the battlefield his three sons, one of whom was the renowned 
Prince Henry the Navigator, and the other Dom Pedro, 
the first foreigner to be elected Knight of the Garter. 
It was the first conquest, the first firm foothold on the 
coast of Africa. The effect of the conquest was magical. 
The whole nation rose as one man in a burst of enthusiasm. 
The spirit of discovery and conquest was kindled and Portugal 
dreamt of greatness at the cost of the vast, unknown lands 
where a legend placed a Prester Johnf and of a boundless 
sea that extended from her shores to — where ? 

The national sentiment would have, however, been strangl- 
ed and all aspirations suffocated unless a master-hand had 

Prince Henry, ike guided the energies of the Portuguese 
Navigator people. With the times arose the man. 

This genius was the Prince, known to immortality as Infante 
Henrique. Strong, daring, and determined, his one ardent desire 
was to rescue from the oblivious empire of the sea, lands that 
were unknown or else indifferently regarded by the rest of the 
civilized world. But the task was not easy. The current opinion 
was that Africa was not circumnavigable. Hipparchus had 

* Ceuta, situated on the African side of the Straits of Gibraltar, was 
strongly fortified and defended by the bravest portion of the Muham- 
rqadan population. 

f Prester John, a semi-mythical Asiatic potentate of the Middle Ages, 
was supposed to be both kin* and priest of a Christian country between 
Persia and Armenia. Modern scholars identify him with Gur Khan 
founder of the Black Cathay Empire in the XII. century. 



stated that Africa was a big continent extending to the South 
Pole and that there was no sea but was shut up by land. 
Ptolemy had adopted his opinions and the Greek geographers 
had mapped out about the equator of the earth an uninhabit- 
able land which they fancied as being surrounded by a torrid 
zone of fiery heat, where life would be scorched by the blazing 
sun. The Prince, however, was convinced of the error of 
these views by the power of inspiration which is the gift of 
genius. In the twilight age of geographical knowledge he 
fought, with the firmness of his conviction, the geographers 
and the existing beliefs. He vowed to show that Africa 
was circumnavigable and that in all probability there existed 
a maritime route to India.* He found heroes equal to the 
task. It is difficult to say whether the people made the 
man or the man the people. A race Celtic in origin but 
mixed with Roman, Carthaginian, Gothic and lastly Semitic 
blood had developed into heroes and sages. When Prince 
Henry proposed the conquest of Ceuta the whole nation 
rose to the call. Even the dying queenf was foretelling 
days of grandeur on her death-bed, and when consoled that 
she would yet see Portugal emerge glorious was murmuring 
with lips that were soon to close for ever : — 

" No yes, from above. My death will not, 

however, detain you a moment. In a week, for the feast 

of San Thiago " She had breathed her 


It is interesting to note that in the expedition to Ceuta 

* It is not certain whether Prince Henry was fully convinced of the 
existence of a sea-route to India, but he had hopes of reaching India by 
rounding the southern point of Africa. 

f Queen Phillipa, wife of Dom Joao I, and mother of Prince Henry 
was an English Princess being the daughter of John of Ghaunt, Duke 
of Lancaster. She was so high-souled that on her death-bed she gave a 
sword to each of her five sons in order to wield it in defence of the 
country, widows, orphans and especially against infidels. 



England sent some help to Portugal and encouraged a wealthy 
En l *d an Ally Englishman to take with him four ships 

laden with provisions. There had been 
amicable relations between England and Portugal since King 
Joao, the father of Prince Henry had signed with Richard II 
of England the Treaty of Windsor in 1386 and had tightened 
the bond of alliance by his marriage with Phillipa of Lancaster. 
Prince Henry the Navigator was, therefore, the nephew of 
Henry IV of England and great-grandson of Edward III. 

The whole of Europe was so astounded at the conquest 
of Ceuta that Prince Henry was invited by the Pope of 
Rome, by the Kings of England and Castille and by the 
Emperor of Germany to take command of their forces on land 
and sea. His dreams were however different He had bridged 
over the Atlantic and had united Portugal and Africa. He 
would not rest satisfied until the whole continent of Africa was 
explored and, if possible, the maritime route to India discover- 
ed. He erected an observatory and established a naval school 
on the promontory of Sagres in Algarve where he collected 
the best geographers and mathematicians. It was in this school 
that Columbus learnt the first principles of navigation. Absorb- 
ed in his sea-problems he discussed here the probability of the 
existence of new vyorlds and investigated the secrets of the sea 
and the winds. Here he built those small barques of one 
mast, or two in the case of long voyages, with which the first 
Portuguese argonauts braved the fury of the sea. It was here 
that for the first time the possibility of sailing round the conti- 
nent of Africa and ultimately reaching India was established. 

It was the time when sailing a few degrees beyond the 
Straits of Gibraltar was considered to be a wonderful feat. 

The last limit of Spanish exploration was 

First Discoveries 

Cape Non, (No) and as its name indicates 
it was thought to be impossible to double its rocky point where 
the winds and waves beat furiously. Prince Henry, however, 



knew no impossibilities. Year after year he sent expeditions 
till at last Cape Non was passed. Zaroo at the head of an ex- 
pedition landed about 141 8 in the Island of Madeira. This 
discovery was the first result of Prince Henry's explorations. 
Another expedition driven eastward by the winds discovered 
Porto Santo. In 1433 Goncallo Velho discovered the Azores ; 
In 1434 Gil Eannes at last doubled Cape Bojador and 
dispelled the age-long superstitious belief, that none would 
return who rounded it. 

However successful the Prince may have been there were not 
wanting captious minds who questioned what was, barring an 
empty glory, the material benefit of these discoveries. He was 
too far in advance of his age and had to battle with ignorance 
and blind prejudice. The geographers still ridiculed the belief 
in the existence of a sea route to India. The enormous cost of 
the expeditions was not worth incurring for the barren gain of 
a cape or a coast land. But the Prince was inflexible and 
the nation stood by him. He was conscious, however, that a 
small country like Portugal could not fit out so many expedi- 
tions without risking financial ruin. He was sure on the 
other hand that there would finally grow up between Portugal 
and the discovered lands a trade which would enrich her 
beyond measure. He, thereupon, prevailed on the Pope to 
concede to the crown of Portugal the perpetuity of all lands 
beyond Cape Bojador including the Indies, on the ground that 
he had to contend at an enormous expense against the infidels 
of the African coast. The vast revenues of the Order of 
Christ at first provided him with necessary resources for his 
daring plans of conquest and discovery. 

What the Prince anticipated was at last realized. In 1459 
one of his expeditions entered Porto Cavalleiro and for the first 
„ . time brought gold and slaves to Portugal 

The Dawn of Trade T & 

Here at last was the material advantage 
of the discoveries clearly demonstrated. Gold quickened the 



desire for more gold. The very same critics who had tried 
to convince the nation that the cost of the Prince's ex- 
peditions was more than she could bear, laid down their 
pens and flocked to the Bay of Lagos. Not only in Portugal 
but all over Europe there was a feverish excitement to navigate 
under the Portuguese flag. Success followed success. One 
expedition explored the coast as far as Cape Blanco and 
another going beyond Cape Blanco discovered Arguin in 1445. 
Thus regions lying 300 leagues distant from the continent were 
revealed to the knowledge of man. The sea was dark no more. 

In 1447, a new fleet was in preparation. To bring rich 
cargoes of merchandise, gold and slaves small boats were no 

longer serviceable. They now built caravels 
Successes* Henrys Last with two to four masts, weighing 50 to 150 

tons. This was the type of ships which 
made the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries notable for a 
wonderful geographical expansion. The next year a fleet of 
these caravels entered the Gulf of Arguin and laid the founda- 
tions of the first military fortress. In 1455-56 Luigi Cadamosto, 
a Venetian gentleman who commanded the Navigator's expedi- 
tions, not only discovered Cape Verde Islands but cruised along 
the Senegal, the Gambia and the Rio Grande. Prince Henry 
was not unfortunately.destined to live long to see the fruit of his 
enterprises. Death came to claim him in 1460 amidst his plans 
still unfructified and maps still incomplete. He left, however, 
in the hearts of his people the love of discovery and conquest. 
The motto which graces his statue to-day — "Talent de biett 
/aire" — is a striking testimony to his genius and his greatness. 

Dom Aflfonso V, who was on the throne of Portugal at 
this time had the enterprising spirit of his uncle Prince Henry 

but did not possess his energy. Moreover 

i43sTj? OHSO V in the latter P art of his rei S n his atten- 
tion was directed towards his war with 

Spain for the succession of Queen Joana to the crown of 



CastiUe. He entrusted all the maps, which his uncle had not 
lived to complete, to a Venetian in the Convent of San Miguel 
of Murano. The completion of the new map took three years 
to accomplish. In this map, Cavo Di Diab (Cape of Good Hope) 
was distinctly laid down as the southern-most extremity of 
Africa and to the north-east of it, Sofala and Xengibar 
(Zanzibar) were correctly marked, 30 years before Dias 
doubled the Cape of Good Hope or Covilhao landed in 
Sofala from a Moorish ship. In 1461, a year after the 
Prince's death Pedro de Cintra, who was entrusted by the king 
with two caravels, discovered Sierra Leone and went some 
miles southwards. Fernao Gomes, on the other side, who had 
bought the monopoly of trade with the African coast went for 
the first time two degrees south of the equinoctial line and 
woe to the geographers ! he was not scorched by the fancied 
fire of the sun. A period of inactivity followed, synchronous 
with the war with Spain. The kingdom of Prester John was 
still obscure ; there was not the faintest sign of the gorgeous 
and mysterious land of India. After half a century of 
voyages Portugal had only collected a little gold and a few 
slaves. The national sentiment was growing cold. 

Dom Affonso's son, Joao II, now ascended the throne and 
a new era dawned. He set to work with all the energy of 
Dom Jo&o II Prince Henry but was unfortunate, how- 

1481-149$ ever> { n that he treated Columbus as a 

visionary when he submitted to him his schemes of a 
wonderful discovery.* He sent an expedition under Diogo 
Cao, who in 1484 went up to the Zairie and discoverd 
Congo, sailing 200 leagues beyond. On his voyage back, 
Diogo Cao brought with him an ambassador of the King 
of Benin who requested the King of Portugal to send 

* It most be said to the credit of Dom Joao II that he himself was 
ready enough to accept the proposals of Columbus, but he was over- 
ruled by his Council. 



missionaries to his kingdom in order to establish there the 
Christian religion. He also spoke of a powerful king named 
Ogane, who wielded temporal as well as spiritual power over a 
large number of people dwelling 350 leagues in the interior of 
Benin. Could he be the Prester John of the legend ? The 
description tallied. The time was opportune for the propaga- 
tion of the Christian religion and for commercial expansion. 

men as they had been in Barbary before and knew Arabic 
well. They started in May 1487, went to Naples, thence 
to Rhodes, Alexandria and Cairo. In Cairo they joined 
a company of Moors who were going to Aden, where they 
learned of the profits that could be derived from the trade with 
Calicut. They parted at Aden and agreed to meet again in 
Cairo. Paiva went to Ethiopia, Covilhao bent his way towards 
India. With his good knowledge of Arabic and fascinating 
manners he made friends with the Moorish traders he 
came across. In their ships he travelled to Cananor, to 
Calicut, to Goa, to Ormuz and even to Sofala. His object 
was to observe and draw a map of his travels for his king. 
He saw at Calicut an enormous trade of ginger, pepper, cloves 
and cinnamon. In Sofala he gained the valuable information 
that all along the west, the coast may be sailed and that not far 
off lay the Island of the Moon {Lud) now known as Madagascar. 
He immediately communicated to the King all he had seen 
and learned, assuring him that if he sent an expedition to sail 
along the coast of Sofala the vast Island of the Moon would 
be in his hands. He also suggested the possibility of crossing 
the eastern seas and reaching Calicut. He at last returned to 
Cairo in order to meet his friend Paiva, only to find that 
he had died some time before. Here ended all that Covilhao 
did for the Portuguese Empire. His future career was quite 

Peres de CovilkSo and 
Paiva Affonso 

He lost no time in despatching in search of 
Prester John, Peres de Covilhao and Paiva 
Affonso whom he knew to be the fittest 



singular. He went to Ethiopia and penetrating near Zeila 

at last reached the court of Prester John whom the Portuguese 

people were determined to reveal for almost a century. The 

legend was not wholly a myth. The discovery was memorable. 

Covilhao was however a changed man. He renounced the west 

for the luxuries and gorgeousness of the East. He did not 

even care to give an account of his discovery to the King. 

Neither did he see Portugal any more. He spent 33 years of his 

life in the court of Abyssinia, where he was the leading spirit. 

It is worthy of note that to Covilhao belongs the honour of 

having been the first to mark the itinerary of the voyage to 

India showing that the East might be reached by cruising 

round the south of Africa. 

King Joao not hearing anything from Covilhao, prepared 

another expedition under command of the renowned navigator 

nr Bartholomeu Dias. This memorable ex- 
Bartholotneu Dias /4S6 

pedition consisted only of one tender and 
two ships weighing 50 tons each. With the object of reaching 
India he sailed southwards along the route which Diogo Cao 
had traced and reached the bay named Dias Point. Against 
rough weather he persisted in a southerly direction until he 
reached the southern point of the Orange River. He called it 
Angra das Voltas or Cape of Turns. The storm increased in 
fury. With ragged sails and battered ships the crew were 
driven mercilessly along the coast. But Dias did not flinch. 
Suddenly the weather changed. Why was it so terribly cold ? 
Dias guessed the position of land was some geographical 
landmark. With the skill of a navigator he turned in an 
easterly direction and then steered northwards. He had 
achieved a feat of far-reaching importance and he knew 
it not. He had rounded the Cape. He continued his course 
and endeavoured to ascertain where he really was. He reached 
a small island, where he planted a pillar with a cross 
on a rock which still survives, This Island is known as Santa 


1 1 

Cruz. He hardly realized still that he was treading the land 
beyond the Cape where no European had yet ventured to 
appear. He had braved fierce winds. His crew clamoured 
for return. He turned west and the reality dawned upon him. 
He sighted the Cape and found to his surprise that he had 
rounded the southernmost point of Africa. He called the 
cape Cabo Tonnentoso, (Stormy Cape) in memory of the 
tempests and high winds that assailed this vast promontory. 

When Dias returned to Portugal the people were in raptures. 
The passage to India which haunted the dreams of Prince 
Henry was now within reach. Amidst the acclamation of the 
people, the King, buoyant with hopes of reaching India, 
changed the name of the Cape into Cabo de Boa Esperan$a 
(Cape of Good Hope.) This was the last discovery which 
King Joao II rejoiced over, before his death. 

The era of navigation saw its climax in the reign of King 
Manoel who ascended the throne in 1495. Two years later the 
VascodaCama i 497 - new monarch with Bartholomeu Dias, was 
J 49$ occupied in presiding over ship-building* 

works and the construction of a new fleet. This fleet consisted 
of only four ships of 100 to 200 tons each. Why, then, this great 
sensation on the shores of Belem ? The King was sending 
Vasco da Gama to discover the sea-route to India. After 
attending Mass in the chapel of Santa Maria de Belem in the 
midst of the nobility of Portugal, da Gama sailed out from the 
Tagus, on the 8th of July 1497* with the fleet which was 
destined to lay open the gates of the mysterious East. He 
passed the Canaries, Cape Verde Islands, San Thiago, 
St. Helena, and then turned towards the Cape of Good Hope. 
He sailed to Mombassa, Mozambique and Melinde where 
there were already a handful of Portuguese. At Melinde they 
took a pilot and sailing northwards reached the coast of 

* This date is the one given by de Barros. Correa fixes the date on 
the 25th March, Osorio on the 9th July. 



Calicut in August 1498.* The riddle of centuries was solved. 
East and West had met. 

When da Gama allowed a Portuguese convict to land in 
Calicut a Moor from Tunis asked in Castilian "At diablo que te 
doy, quiem te trouxe aqua ?" f 

The Moor, the Moor again — in Portugal itself, on the coast 
of Africa and now again in India. What was the reply ? 

" Vtemos buscar Cristaos e speciarias". % 

Christians first and then spices. The incident shows that the 
object of the Portuguese discoveries was more to convert new 
people to Christianity than to establish commercial relations. 

Portugal did not still rest satisfied. In 1500 Alvares Cabral 
set out with an imposing fleet from the shores of Portugal, 
commissioned by the King to establish commercial relations 
with India. He had, however, his own ideas. Steering east- 
wards in the Atlantic he asked himself — what lay to the west ? 
In the northern hemisphere Columbus had discovered the 
Indies. Were there no Indies in the southern hemisphere? 
He determined to explore. The result was the discovery of 
Brazil.§ Within the next five years Ascension Island (150 1) 
St. Helena (1502) and Ceylon (1505) were discovered. In 

1 506 Tristao da Cunha explored in the Atlantic, the Islands 
known by his name and in the same year the veil which covered 
the Island of the Moon or Madagascar was lifted. In 

1 507 the Maldive Islands, in 1 509 Malacca and Sumatra, in 

* It is not quite correct to suppose that da Gama first landed in 
Calicut He first landed in Pantalani and not in modern Calicut. As to 
the exact date of da Gama's arrival there are quite a dozen different 
versions. De Barros and Goes give 29th August, Correa 18th September, 
Castanheda beginning of September. 

f "May the devil take you, what brought you here ?" 

% "We have come to seek Christians and spices." 

§ De Barros, Goes and Osorio state that Cabral was driven westwards 
by the gales ascribing the discovery of Brazil to chance. The author of 
the Lendas has another story. However, recent researches based on the 
letters written to Dom Manoel show that Cabral deliberately bent his 
way westwards in the Atlantic. 


1 5 12 the Moluccas and China were explored. In 1519-22 
Magellan at last penetrated the portentous Pacific, landed 
in the Philipines and for the first time in the history of 
mankind sailed round the world. 

The discovery of the sea-route to India! What was its 
meaning for the world ? When the Moorish sword was hanging 

over the fate of Europe, the discovery 

The Period of Conquests 

struck a blow to the Moorish power in 
Asia checking its onward advance. It gave the deathblow to 
the trade of three continents that passed through the Arab 
gates, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, — to this trade that 
had made the East proverbial for wealth and embellished 
the dreams of the Arabian Nights. Portugal was now no 
longer the discoverer. She was the conqueror. Early in the 
sixteenth century the entire trade of Europe, Asia and 
Africa was by force of arms wrested from Moorish hands by 
the bold Portuguese. Albuquerque that astute and far- 
seeing administrator, the first European after Alexander the 
Great to dream of an Eastern Empire and the first European 
who actually held sway in the East, since the Tartars had driven 
out the last of the Greeks from Bactria, had already achieved 
his memorable conquests by 151 5. He had secured in 
safety three most important centres on the Eastern coasts : 
Malacca, commanding the straits through which the trade of 
India and China passed ; Ormuz that commanded the other 
channel through which the traffic of the east was forced 
to pass on its way through Persia and thence to Europe ; and 
Goa, on the Malabar Coast, which eventually became the 
Portuguese metropolis in the east where flocked the traders 
from Arabia, Melinde, Sofala, Cam bay, Bengal, Pegu ; mer- 
chants from Siam, Java, Malacca, Persia, China and even 
America. Every vessel that passed the Persian Gulf had to 
first pay the Portuguese toll at Ormuz ; and even the African 
vessels that crossed the Red Sea paid their toll at Muscat. The 


Portuguese commercial supremacy was now firmly established 
in the East and her flag waved triumphantly on an almost 
unbroken coast from Gibraltar to Abyssinia and from Ormuz 
to Malacca. 

In the reign of King Manoel, the reign immortalized by the 
discovery of the sea-route to India, factories were established 
King Manoel m Calicut, Cananore and Cochin, (1500). 

*495 m *S 2t The Kings of Quiloa* and Baticola were 

forced into submission (1502). In 1503 the first Portuguese 
fortress in India was erected at Cochin. Mombassa was 
occupied in 1 505 and in the same year forts were erected 
at Quiloa, Angedivef and Sofala. The fortress of Socotra was 
captured (1506) and a settlement established there and in 
Ormuz. In 15 10 Goa was finally conquered. Malacca (151 1) 
and Ormuz (15 1 5) the two keys to the main Arab channels 
of commerce passed into the Portuguese hands. In 1517 
the Portuguese penetrating into China settled at Canton 
establishing factories at Shangch'wan and Ningpo. In the 
same year the Portuguese began to visit Bengal. A fort was 
erected in Ceylon, in 1 5 1 8, and treaties of peace were signed 
with the Kings of Siam ( 1 5 1 8) and Pegu (1515). I n 1 52 1 the 
Portuguese supremacy was firmly established in the Malay 
Archipelago and forts were erected at Pacem (Sumatra) and 
Ternate (Moluccas). 

The reign of Dom Joao III, which followed, marked a 
period of the foundation of towns and the establishing of 
Dom Jodo in settlements. On the Coromandel coast 
*S**-*$57 were founded the cities of St. Thorns' 

of Mylapore, of Negapatam and of Jafnapatam. In the 
Moluccas, Tidore was made tributary to the crown of Portugal. 

* Quiloa is not the same as Quilon. The former is an island off the 
coast of Lanzibar, and was a kingdom in Africa. The latter (Coulao 
of the Portuguese) was a kingdom and a city south of Cochin. 

t Angedive is an island two miles off the coast of North Canara. 



On the northern coast rose the Portuguese cities of Chaul 
Bassein and Damaon and various towns on the coast of 
Cambay. Forts were built in Diu and Chale. In Ceylon were 
raised the towns and forts of Galle, Negumbo, Baticola and 
Trincomali. On the coast of China was founded Macau which 
still belongs to Portugal. 

On King Sebastiao ascending the throne, the Portuguese 
empire in the east flourished for a time but soon after its 
decadence began. In the earlier part of his reign the 
Dom Sebastiao conquered foes were pacified and Portugal 

*557 mI 578 W as reaping the benefits of her former 

struggles. It seemed the new King might easily occupy the 
throne of the Great Mughals and the destinies of a vast empire 
pass in his hands. The successes were, however, the last flashes 
of a flickering flame, about to be extinguished. Mombassa 
was secured and a fort erected ; more forts were raised in 
Mangalore, Barielore and Onore (Canara province), in Siriam 
(Pegu) and in Sena and Jete on the rivers of Cuama. And then 
the town of Hooghly was about to be founded in Bengal. 
The Moorish vessels were swept from the Indian Ocean while 
the Portuguese vessels sailed with safety in the eastern seas 
commanding all the principal sea-routes. 

Well may Faria y Souza be stirred to ecstasy when he 
speaks that his country's power extended from the Cape of 
Good Hope to the frontiers of China embracing a coast line of 
not less than 12,000 miles. 

The riches which the Portuguese commercial enterprises 
brought to the nation are inconceivable. . From Japan came 

fleets laden with silver. China furnished 

The Extent of Trade , . .„ j i r*\ 

gold, silks and musks. Cloves were 
shipped from Moluccas ; spices and nutmegs from Sunda, 
cinnamon from Ceylon, wood from Solor, camphor from 
Borneo. From Bengal came rich varieties of cloth ; from 
Pegu the finest rubies ; from Masulipatam valuable diamonds ; 




from Manar pearls and seed-pearls. The Maldives were ex- 
plored for amber ; Cochin was sought for raw hides ; Malabar 
for pepper and ginger ; Canara for all sorts of provisions ; 
Cambay for indigo and cloth. Linseed was conveyed from 
Chaul, incense from Casern ; horses from Arabia ; elephants 
from Jafnapatam ; carpets and silks from Persia, aloes from 
Socotra ; gold from Sofala ; and ivory, ebony and amber from 
Mozambique. Above all vast sums of money came from the 
gateways of commerce — Ormuz, Goa and Malacca, and from 
the tributes paid by the kings under Portuguese suzerainty. 

One can scarcely imagine this violent superhuman impulse 
which led a small nation to immortalize two centuries of dis- 
covery and conquest. To say that a fort was built in Ormuz 
or that Malacca and Goa were captured is easy enough. 
It is difficult, however, to realize what sacrifices it entailed. 
The East which the Portuguese found was far, far different from 
the East which the English and Dutch found when they sought 
for facilities of trade. The Portuguese had to overthrow the 
influence of the Moors when their avalanche was threatening to 
sweep through the whole of Europe and make the way easy for - 
themselves and, incidentally so, for other European nations. 
They succeeded, but the nation small as it was, and is, soon ex- 
hausted itself in the attempt. When the Portuguese came to 
India they had not to deal with savage tribes as the Spaniards 
and the English found in America, but they were confronted 
with a civilization much older than that of Europe and with 
theological and philosophical speculations whose antiquity 
extended far beyond the times of Greek and Roman legends. 

Fortunately the soul of the nation found expression in 
an epic — the sublime epic of Camdes in which as Montesquieu 

says* the poet combines the charm of 

The Epic r 

the Odyssey with the magnificence of 
the iEneid. Though the golden age of the Portuguese has 

* Spirit of Laws (Nugent) xxi, 21. 


departed, the song that the poet sang still burns bright immort- 
alizing the flame of Portuguese genius. By a strange irony 
of fate the Lusiadas, "that Homeric apotheosis of a great, 
heroic people" was voiced forth at the hour of their fall. Were 
Camoes to add any more strophes to the Lusiadas they would 
constitute an elegy, not an epic. 

Fallen, as is the Portuguese Empire in the East, it may be 
well to quote the verdict pronounced on the Portuguese by 

the Historians' History of the World.* 
The Verdict 7 J 

"If the Portuguese had been as skilful 
speculators as they were intrepid sailors and distinguished 
warriors, Henry the Navigator, who set the example of mari- 
time conquest, Dias, Vasco Da Gama, Cabral Albuquerque, 
valiant captains identified with all the glories uf the Aviz 
dynasty, would have imitated the speculative prudence of the 
Dutch, their rivals. And if, when the illustrious house of 
Braganza opened the era of national liberties, the people had 
had in their heads less of poetic imagination, and more power 
of reason ; if, courageous and adventurous as they were, they 
had shown themselves more positive, the French, at first, and 
then the English, would never have invaded their treasury, 
exploited their soil, and paralyzed their industries. Truly a 
child-like nation, satisfied with little, pursuing the ideal, eco- 
nomical without avarice, pure in morals, sober, generous, 
hospitable, the Portuguese have bred heroes in place of diplo- 
mats, poets in place of capitalists." 

In the glowing picture of the heroic age of the Portuguese 
one cannot fail to discern the shadow of crime that followed in 
the wake of their triumphs ; but which nation has been 
spotless ? Portugal abused her power ; but when was not 
abuse the curse of mankind ? The Portuguese efforts for 
dominion in the East have been attended with much violence 

* Historian? History of the World Vol. X p. 425. 


and bloodshed but one cannot help gazing in wonder on the 
enterprise and valour of a small nation that taught the world 
a new geography and opened the gates of the East to the 



' The Paradise of India"* 

When in quest of new horizons and a wider scope of 
activities the first Portuguese bent their way to the shores of 

Bengal at the time of Ben S al the signing dynasty was that of 
the Advent of the Portu- the Lodi independent kings who had 
guesfi thrown off the yoke of Bakhtiyar Khilji's 

successors in 1 338. Sy ud Husain Shah, known as the most 
powerful of the independent kings of Bengal, was on the 
throne and held his court in historic Gaur, which was, it is 
computed, a magnificent city five or six centuries before Christ. 
Gaur was to Bengal what Delhi was to Hindusthan. It was 
still magnificent and opulent, seat as it was of a thousand kings, 
though Husain Shah in a freak of fancy had allowed his soldiers 
to plunder it on his ascending the throne. The dynasty of 
the independent Kings lasted only up to 1 538 when Sher Shah, 
the Tiger, made himself master of Bengal. In the beginning 
the Portuguese had, therefore, to contend with the Muham- 
madan chiefs and only a few years after, with the successors of 
Sher Shah. Neither the Lodi rulers nor the Afghans were so 
liberal-minded as the Mughals proved to be when after the 
fall of Daud Khan in 1576 they wrested the kingdom of Bengal 
from the Afghan chiefs. 

* A Memoir by Monsieur Jean Law, Chief of the French Factory 
at Cossimbazar says : "In all the official papers, firmans, parwanas of the 
Moghal Empire, when there is question of Bengal, it is never named 
without adding these words "Paradise of India", an epithet given to it 
par excellence". Cf. Hill's Bengal in i756-5f. Vol. Ill p. 160., Aurang* 
aeb is said to have styled Bengal, "the Paradise of nations." 


The Portuguese found a vast majority of Hindus in. Bengal 
ruled by a minority of Muhammadans for more than 300 years, 
that is, since the defeat of the last Hindu King Lukshmanya 
and the taking of Nadia in 1203. Until the battle of Plassey in 
l 757> that is, for more than five centuries and a half, Bengal was 
practically in the hands of the Muhammadan chiefs, strangers 
to Bengal by race and custom if not by birth. Hindu princi- 
palities flourished for a time but seldom exerted any consider- 
able influence on the government of Bengal as a whole. Peace- 
ful by disposition, docile and easy going, the people of Bengal 
were submissive to this foreign rule and apparently content 
with seeing their liberties not trampled upon and the virtue 
of their wives protected from force in their cloistered seclusion. 
But given the opportunity, the Bengalees were ready to rise 
against the Muhammadans and join with the new European 
comers as they did when Sebastiao Gonsalves conquered 
Sandwip and ordered the Hindus to deliver up to him every 
Moor in the land. 

The Portuguese historians dwell much on the wicked- 
ness of the "Bengalas". De Barros remarks : "the people 

natural to the land of Bengal, are mostly 
The -Bengalas'* b , \ 

Hindu, weak in fighting but the most 

malicious and treacherous in the whole East ; so that to injure 
a man anywhere (sic) it is enough to say he is a Bengala".* 
The Portuguese historian seems to have erred in the applica- 
tion of the word "Bengalas", whom the Portuguese in India 
referred to as treacherous in the reports sent to Portugal. By 
"Bengalas" the Portuguese in India did not only mean the 
Hindus but the Muhammadan rulers of Bengal who were indeed 
most malicious and treacherous especially towards the Portu- 

* De Barros, Dec. IV. Li v. IX Cap. I p. 457* 

Whiteaway says in his History of Rise of Portuguese Power in India, 
that a Portuguese description of the Bengalis calls them "False and thieves, 
people who get up quarrels as an excuse for robbery" See p. 233, n. 1, 



guese whose earliest expeditions they had either treacherously 
put an end to or tried their best to do so in every covert 
manner. Hence de Barros who had never come to India 
probably confounded "Bengalas" with the "native people of 
Bengal" and ascribed to the latter the character which the 
rulers ot Bengal possessed. 

The geography of Bengal was not exactly what it is to-day. 
It was an irony of fate that in India towns and cities 
, , „ , should have risen and fallen, depending 

Geography of Bengal 1 ° 

as they did on the fickleness of a river that 
shifted its course here and there ; or on the whims of a ruler 
who fixed his heart on a newer spot ; or still more on the grim 
destinies which in every age create kingdoms and as quickly 
destroy them. 

When the Portuguese came to Bengal, Chittagong was its 
chief port, and the main gateway to the royal capital Gaur. Its 

geographical position lent it importance. 


Situated as it is at the mouth of the 
Meghna, this port was most convenient for navigation. The 
Meghna was the principal route to Gaur, the other being up 
the Hooghly. With the fall of Gaur, Chittagong began to 
decline, and trade was diverted to Satgaon, which in its 
turn was supplanted by Hooghly. Chittagong was always a 
bone of contention between the Rajas of Bengal, Arakan and 
Tippera, who strove for supremacy over the seaport until the 
Mughal conquest of Bengal. All the Portuguese commanders 
that came to Bengal first entered Chittagong. In fact to ga_to 
Bengal meant to go to Chittagong. It is the "city of Bengala" 
referred to in the early Portuguese writings. They named it 
Porto Grande (great port) in contradistinction to their Porto 
Pequeno (small port) in Satgaon. Hooghly eventually came 
to be known as Porto Pequmo. 

From ancient times the chief port and emporium of trade 
on the Western side of Bengal, was Satgaon, situated on the 



river Saraswati, which branches off from the Hooghly below 

Tribeni and joins it higher up. The main 
Satgaon current of the Hooghly till the middle of 

the sixteenth century streamed through the Saraswati ; hence 
the importance of Satgaon which was more accessible to 
larger ships. The town of Hooghly was then a mere collec- 
tion of huts. Satgaon was the Saptagrama that figures so 
prominently in the ancient Puranas. It was so called because 
it consisted of seven villages on the banks of the river 
Saraswati, each of which was occupied by one of the seven 
sons of the Rishi King Pryavanta* -This district undoubtedly 
played an important part in the Mauryan civilization. It is 
Satgaon (Gangj) that is probably described by Ptolemy as the 
capital of the Gangaridce, Saraswati being the Ganges Regta.* 
The unknown author of the "Periplus of the Erythnean Sea" 
who wrote in the first century A. D. speaks of Satgaon thus : 
"There is on it (Ganges) a mart called after it Gauge through 
which passes a considerable traffic consisting of betel, the 
Gangetic spikenard, pearl and the finest of muslins, those 
called the Gangetic".f There were times when the muslins 
of Dacca shipped from Satgaon clad the Roman ladies and 
when spices and other goods of Bengal that used to find their 
way to Rome through Egypt were very much appreciated there 
and fetched fabulous prices. Till the middle of the 16th century 
large vessels sailed up to Satgaon with merchandise. In the reign 
of Akbar it brought an income of 12,00,000 dams or 30,000 
rupees.} This historic port was, however, destined to decline on 
the advent of the Portuguese, chiefly because the river Hooghly 
diverted its current through the main channel, and caused the 
silting up of the Saraswati which became unsuitable for naviga- 

♦ Wilford's Asiatic Researches, Vol. V., p. 278. 

f McCrindle's Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraan Sea 
p. 146. 

\ Gladwin's Ayin Akbari pt. II, p. 472, 



tion. Fifty years ago the Saraswati was a dead river, with its 
bed traversed by a few chains of pools. To-day, however, it is a 
running stream even in summer as water is let into it from the 
Kala Nada in connection with the Eden Canal Scheme. The 
Portuguese called it Porto Pequeno (small port) as it was of 
lesser importance than the port of Chittagong. 

De Laet who in his India Vera (1630) described Satgaon as 
a beautiful town drew largely upon his imagination. In 1660 
Van den Broucke called it a village and by 1870 the proud 
name of Satgaon, the Gangi of Ptolemy, was applied to a 
collection of eleven huts. A ruined mosque can be seen at 
Satgaon even to this day attesting to its former glory. 

The river Hooghly was not navigable for larger vessels 
higher up than the Adhi-Ganga (Tolly's Nollah) but lighter 

craft could transport to Satgaon and other 
H *$f* phy ° f the places on either bank of the river the goods 

which the Portuguese disembarked at 
Garden Reach. The topography of the Hooghly river was not 
very different from what it is to-day. Kalikatta (Calcutta) was 
an insignificant village on the left bank. The towns of Hooghly, 
Chandernagore, Chinsura, Serampore and Barrackpore did not 
even exist in name. They flourished only as European settle- 
ments. An idea of the villages on the banks of the Hooghly 
can be well formed by the following description of the voyage 
of Kabi Kankan who wrote the famous Chandi in 1577 (1499 
of the Saka Era). Going down the Hooghly from Burdwan to 
the Sea, the poet passed or touched at the following places : — 

" Floating down the river Ajai the boats came to Indrani. 
Further down they passed Bhrigu Sinha's Ghat on the right 
and Materi Ghat on the left. Then they passed Chandi Gach ; 
Balanpur Ghat ; Puravastali ; Navadip ; Parpur ; Mirzapur ; 
Ambua on the right side, Santipur on the left, Guptepara on 
the right ; Oola Kismar Fula, Joshepur Kodal Ghat, Hali- 
shahar on the left side, and Tribeni on the right; Sapta- 


gramma (Satgaon), Garefa (Gouripur), Andalpara, Jagathal, 
Nowpara, Teliapur, Nunai Ghat, Mahesh on the right side and 
Kurdaha, Konnagar, Kotrung, Kuchinan, Chitpur, Sulkhia, 
Kalikatta (Calcutta) Bithoor (Betor or modern Howrafo). 
Leaving on the right, the way to Hijuji (Hijlli) they turned to 
the left, passed Balughata, Kali Ghat, Mirnagar, Nachangacha, 
Vaisnav Ghata, Barasat, Chatra Bhuj, Ambri Bhuj, Hithagar 
and then came to Mogara."* How many of these places are 
not familiar to us to-day, and with a slight change in the 
orthography, do appear in our most modern guide-books ? 

The geographical position of Bengal has considerably influ- 
enced its history. Away from the heart of India, Bengal was 

a refuge for fugitive princes who like 

f**n%es a " AitraCti0n Humayun, Sher Shah and Shah Jahan 

made it the scene of their bloody 
exploits. Southern Bengal, woven as it is by a network of rivers 
as no other part of India, was calculated to offer the sea-faring 
people like the Portuguese the greatest scope for their instincts 
of navigation and love for adventure. Unfortunately this very 
geographical character of Bengal, fostered a greed for piracy 
and plunder, the terrors of which still form the darkest themes 
of popular tradition. In a labyrinth of rivers, the adventurers 
could dive and dart, appear and disappear, ravage the country 
and escape with impunity. Hence Bengal has been the victim 
of exploits and depredations of foreign and native adventurers 
alike,f who inclined by temperament or driven by circumstances 
looked to privateering as the best and most convenient method 
of making a bid for wealth. Before the Sundarbans became 
a nest of pirates, this unfortunate part of Bengal, a prey to the 
wickedness of men and no less to the whims of the rivers was 
not in such a flourishing condition as some writers have made 

* Calcutta Review No. 186. Oct. 1891, p. 373. 

t The Portuguese were not the only nor the worst offenders. Cf. 
Chap. XIV. 



it out to be. The ruins of the villages and towns marked by 
de Barros and Van den Broucke in their maps and overspread 
to-day by thick jungles, indicate according to Blochmann* mere 
attempts at civilization. Westlandf has moreover shown 
that the desolation of the Sundarbans is due to the changes 
of the river system of the Delta, and Beveridge} in his 
enquiry, " Were the Sundarbans inhabited in ancient times ?" 
comes to the conclusion that it is very doubtful indeed that 
the Sundarbans were ever largely peopled, and still more so 
that their inhabitants lived in cities or were, otherwise civilized. 

Regarding the trade and wealth of Bengal, the Portuguese 
had the most sanguine expectations which did not, indeed, 

prove to be far from true. Vasco da Gama 

Bengal Trade 

had already in 1498 taken to Portugal the 
following information : "Benguala has a Moorish King and a 
mixed population of Christians and Moors. Its army may be 
about twenty-four thousand strong, ten thousand being cavalry, 
and the rest infantry, with four hundred war elephants. The 
country could export quantities of wheat and very valuable 
cotton goods. Cloths which sell on the spot for twenty-two 
shillings and six pence fetch ninety shillings in Calicut. It 
abounds in silver."§ From time to time Albuquerque had 
written to King Manoel about the vast possibilities of trade 
and commerce in Bengal. When the Portuguese actually 
established commercial relations in Bengal, they realized to 
their satisfaction what a mine of wealth they had found. 
Very appropriately, indeed, did the Mughals style Bengal, "the 
Paradise of India". 

* H. Blochmann, Contributions to the Geography and History of 
Bengal, p. 23, reprinted from J. A. S. B. 1823, pt. I. 
f Report on the District of Jessore. 
% History of The District of Bdkarganj, p. 169. 
% Appendix to the Roteiro of Vasco de Gama. 



For almost twenty years after Vasco da Gama discovered 
the sea-route to India, the Portuguese had no definite commerce 

with Bengal. The goods of Bengal, indeed, 

The First Traders . ° f 

found their way in native crafts to Cioa, 
Malacca and other Portuguese ports. As evident from the 
letters sent from Malacca to Portugal, the Portuguese had 
visited Bengal in these crafts even before D. Joao de Silveira, 
who came with the first expedition to Bengal, but these were 
passing tradesmen who sold or exchanged their goods at the 
first port in Bengal they touched at, and then availed them- 
selves of any vessels to repair to their own havens. 

Albuquerque who with a lynx-eye had surveyed the whole 
map of the East had not left Bengal out of his reckoning ; 
but his attention was absorbed with affairs on the other side of 
India. Besides, he had only a limited number of ships and with 
those that he had, he preferred to consolidate the conquests he 
had already made, rather than embark on new ventures in 
trying to secure the trade of Bengal and China. He, however, 
informed King Manoel* about the possibilities of trade in 
Bengal, and probably acting upon his injunctions the King sent 
in 1 5 17 FernSo Peres d'Andrade with four ships particularly 
to open a trade with Bengal and China. This captain sailed 
towards Sumatra, took Pacem, filled his ships with chillies and 
other commodities and learning that the goods would fetch a 
higher price in China, sailed towards the Chinese coast thinking 

* On Dec. 1513 Albuquerque wrote to King Manoel "Bengal requires 
all our merchandise and is in need of it." Cf. Doc. de Arch. National 
4a Torre do Tombo p. 300. 



of returning to Bengal at a later date. But a candle flame by 
an accident set fire to his largest ship and he was forced to 
return to Malacca where he hoped to replace the lost vessel. 
On his way back he sent a messenger to Bengal in a Moorish 
ship as an advance agent to announce his arrival. This man 
was Joao Coelho who had arrived at Chittagong before Silveira. 
FernSo Peres, however, explored the coast of China, secured 
its trade, returned laden with riches, but never realized his 
hopes of coming to Bengal. 

D. Joao de Silveira* was sent to Bengal from the Maldives 
with an expedition by Lopo Soares de Albergaria, the Gover- 
nor of the Portuguese possessions in the 

i^H-ifii dC SUVeira East > who had succeeded Albuquerque. 

The Governor sent three other expeditions 
at the same time to Malacca under D. Aleixo de Menezes ; tp 
Diu under Manoel de Lacerda ; and to the coast of Arabia under 
Antonio de Saldanha. The Governor himself went with an 
expedition to Ceylon and on account of some commercial dis- 
putes compelled the King to become a vassal of the King of 
Portugal, and to pay a yearly tribute of 1 2,000 Quintals^ of 
cinnamon, twelve rings of rubies and sapphires, and six ele- 
phants. To ensure the Portuguese interests, he built a fort 
thus laying the foundation for the conquest of Ceylon, 
which proved to be one of the richest Portuguese possessions 
in the East. All the expeditions that had sailed at this time 
were successful but the one that came to Bengal. Silveira 
landed in a port situated, according to de Barros, at the mouth 
of the river Arakan that flowed from the country called Arakan 
itself % an d where the King of the place resided. As Chittagong 

an account of Stlveira's expedition see de Barros Dec. III. 
pt I. Chap. III. p. 135 et seg There were at least four Portuguese captains 
by the same name Joao de Silveira. The one that came to Bengal was 
the nephew of the Governor Lopo Vaz de Sampayo according to Correa. 

f Each quintal was equivalent to 128 lbs. 

X At present, Arakan is the most westerly division of Lower Burma 



was at this time the chief port in the whole of Bengal Silveira 
moored there and found that Joao Coelho whom Fernao Peres 
d'Andrade had sent in order to announce his arrival had 
already arrived at Chittagong in a Moorish vessel, by a curious 
coincidence belonging to Gromalle himself. Silveira sent with 
a messenger his compliments to the King of Bengal* asking 
in the name of the King of Portugal for facilities of trade and for 
permission to erect a factory where the Portuguese merchants 
could rest during their voyages and exchange goods with other 
parts of India ; but the messengers were never received. 
During Silveira's voyage to the Maldives an event had occurred 
which influenced the fate of this expedition to a great extent. 
He had captured two ships that were going from Bengal to 
Cambay and sent them to Cochin. These ships belonged to a 
Moor named Gromalle who was related to the Governor of 
Chittagong. Silveira took over in his own ship the pilot 
of the captured ships and his nephew who were from Bengal. 
The latter pretended to be a great friend of the Portuguese 
and even informed Silveira about some of the plans of the 
country ; but no sooner did he land in Bengal than he 
related to the Governor at Chittagong all that had happened. 
The Governor covertly made preparations for a fight taking 
Silveira for a corsair, though Silveira had no intentions what- 

consisting of a narrow tract which extends from Chittagong Division to 
within 90 miles of Cape Negrais. The old kingdom of Arakan was prac- 
tically the same in boundaries as the present Division. The capital of 
Arakan was Myo-haung and this is the City of Arakan. referred to by 
Portuguese writers. 

* It is doubtful who this king was. Husain Shah was at this time 
King of Bengal but according to the Rajmdla, the King of Tippera 
conquered Chittagong from him in 1512. O'Malley, Chittagong Gazetteer 
p. 22. says, "in 1517, when, as mentioned later tt was visited by John 
de Silveira it was a port held by the Kings of Arakan." For a statement 
like this there is no evidence in the Portuguese historians. On tbe 
contrary de Barros says, Dec. III. pt. I. p. 142* that at this time the King 
of Arakan was a vassal of the King of Bengal. Any way, it is related that 
Naslr-ud-din Nasrat Shah, the son of Husain Shah reconquered Chitta- 
gong from the King of Arakan. 



soever but those of commercial interests. The suspicious 
and unfriendly manner in which the early European merchants 
were received by the Indian rulers, impelled them in a large 
measure to constitute themselves into a military power. The 
Portuguese originally came only for purposes of trade and 
evangelization. From the difficulties that were put in their 
way and from the consequent commercial disputes, arose the 
necessity of defence by arms, and from this grew up the idea 
of conquests. 

Suspecting nothing of the attack that was about to be made 
against him, Silveira was waiting still to open negotiations. 
The Governor was, however, well disposed towards Coelho, as 
the Moors who had come from Pacem along with him and who 
had received good treatment from Fernao Peres, gave favour- 
able reports about Coelho to the Governor, who naturally 
thought that while Coelho was the real messenger of the King 
of Portugal, Silveira was actually a corsair. Silveira, knowing 
nothing about what was passing, would not allow Joao Coelho 
to arrange the trade matters preferring to do so himself as 
he was the real ambassador sent by the Portuguese Governor. 
Meanwhile food ran out and Silveira found himself in the neces- 
sity of capturing a boat full of rice. This pretext served the 
Governor's intentions. He suddenly opened fire from land 
and Silveira had to defend himself with great difficulty. He 
did not give in, however, though his men were about to die of 
starvation and spent the whole of winter in the Bay of Bengal 
as he could not return during the rains. 

The only revenge Silveira could take, was to paralyze the 
whole sea-trade of the Governor's ports. He must have, indeed, 
stopped all shipping in the Bay, because the Governor who was 
expecting the arrival of some ships which he knew very well 
Silveira would capture, made overtures of peace. During these 
negotiations Silveira learnt how well disposed the Governor was 
towards Coelho. Coelho being allowed to land, arranged the 



terms of peace with the Governor and sent food stuffs to Silveira, 
But the Governor never really meant to stand by the treaty." As 
soon as the Governor's ships landed unmolested by the Portu- 
guese, he made war again on Silveira. Coelho was meanwhile 
on land. The Moors who had come in the new ships, also knew 
well Joao Coelho and Fernao Peres d' Andrade and confirmed the 
earlier reports as to how favourable these two captains had been 
to the Moorish people. Coelho used all his influence in favour of 
Silveira but the Governor* was obstinate in his hostility towards 
Silveira. Coelho, thereupon, sailed to China, and Silveira bent 
his way towards the coast of Arakan, where he had first touched. 
The King of Arakan was at this time subject to the King of 
Bengal, and his city, called Arakan itself was, according to de 
Barros, 35 leagues from Chittagong. On opening negotiations, 
the King sent a messenger with a precious present of a ruby 
ring assuring Silveira that though he was not well received in 
Chittagong he would be pleased to be friends with the Portu- 
guese. Silveira however came to know in time that the offer was 
part of a treacherous plot that was laid in order to capture him 
just after landing. Unsuccessful and disappointed, he sailed 
to Ceylon and was given the command of the Fort of Ceylon 
which Lopo Soares had built sometime before. 

Although Silveira had achieved nothing, it became an 
established custom from the time of Silveira's visit to Bengal 

to send annually to Bengal a Portuguese 
Va * Perei,a ship with merchandise. According to this 
yearly custom of sending ships, the Gover- 
nor Lopo Vaz de Sampayo chose Ruy Vaz Pereiraf to com- 
mand the ship going to Bengal in 1526. Having entered 
Chittagong with his merchandise, Ruy Vaz Pereira saw in the 

* Though the Governors of Chittagong were subject to the authority 
of the Kings of Bengal or of Arakan, they seem to have acted largely on 
their own. 

t De Barros, Dec. IV. pi II. pp. 466*7. 



port a galleot belonging to one Khajeh Shihab-ud-dm (Coge 
Sabadim), a rich Persian merchant, built after the Portuguese 
fashion in order to plunder merchant ships and ascribe the crime 
to the Portuguese. Ruy Vaz Pereira immediately captured this 
galleot and took it along with him with all its merchandise. It 
was this event, as it will be seen, that eventually contributed to 
the liberty of Martim Affonso de Mello, after two years of 

In 1528 an expedition commanded by Martim Affonso de 
Mello* landed by a curious chance on the coast of Bengal. 

This Captain had buijt a fort in Sunda 

mSSjlSS!7jt where he had g° ne with ei e ht sh, 'P s an(i 

four hundred men. He then sailed to 
Colombo and put to flight Pate Marcar, the captain of the King 
of Calicut, who was coming to attack King Cotta of Ceylon, 
the Portuguese ally. Proceeding on his voyage he was overtaken, 
by a storm, and his ships being driven adrift he was left strand- 
ed on a sandy bank near the island of Negamale opposite the 
city of Sodod.f Some fishermen promised to guide him toChitta- 
gong but they played him false and took him to Chakaria \ 
which was under the Governorship of Khuda Baksh Khan 
(Codovascam), a vassal of King Mahmud Shah III, the last 
independent ruler of Bengal. This King kept a gay and rich 
court at Gaur, his women alone, according to Faria y Souza, 
amounting to ten thousand. As Khuda Baksh Khan had a 
feud with a neighbouring chief, he employed the Portuguese to 
fight for him promising to give them liberty and leave to go 
to their destinations. They won for him the victory but far 

* De Barros Dec. IV. pt. I. p. 171 et seq. 

- f Neither Negamale nor Sodo6 has been marked by de Barros in' 
his Map of Bengal, Da Asia, Dec. IV. The city of Sodoe referred to is. 
obviously the town of Sandoway in Burma (Arakan). 

X Chakaria is a police division of the Chittagong District containing at 
present a thana and a subregistry. De Barros speaks of it as "the city 
called Chacuria". 




from keeping his promises he imprisoned them in his city 
of Sore** situated on a river which emptied in the sea eight 
miles away. This was the second instance of treachery the 
Portuguese met with in Bengal. 

Two of the ships of Afifonso de Mello that had gone adrift 
during the storm reached Chakaria under Duarte Mendes 
Vasconcellos and Joao Coelho; probably the same Coelho who 
had joined Silveira in Chittagong. These captains tried to 
ransom Affonso de Mello with all the goods they had brought 
in their ships but Khuda Baksh Khan demanded more. As a 
last bid for safety, Martim Affonso de Mello made an attempt 
to escape with the co-operation of Coelho and Vasconcellos but 
it proved unsuccessful. And then followed a tragedy. The 
Brahminsf had made a vow that if they ever caught hold of the 
Portuguese they would sacrifice to their gods the most hand- 
some of them. The man sacrificed was the nephew of Affonso 
de Mello himself, named Goncalo Vas de Mello, a young man 
on whose cheeks, as de Barros says, the downy plush of youth 
had not yet begun to appear — "Jeune homme (Vune figure 
charmante et d'une trds haute esperanc£\ as Van der Hoult 
describes him. 

Nuno da Cunha, the son of the famous Tristao da Cunha 
whose name is borne by three islands in the Atlantic, was at 

this time the Governor in Goa. Although 
The Ransom of he concentrated most of his energies on 

Martim Affonso de . . . . 

Meib, t$x) obtaining fortresses in Bassem and in rocky 

Diu as defence against the powerful 
Muhammadans of Gujrat, his cherished ambition was to secure 

* Sore" is marked by de Barros in his Map of Bengal and also by Van 
Blaev in his Map in Theatrum Orbis Terrarum t Vol. II. It is placed 
south-east of Chittagong further in the interior. 

t The fact that the Brahmins vowed to make sacrifices of foreigners 
in the face of a Muhamraadan Government would show that they had 
some power in the land. Couto, however, explains that they , obtained 
their victim by bribing the Moors. Dec. IV, Li v. IV, Cap. X. p. 323. 



the trade of Bengal and gain a footing on its shores. With this 
object in view he fitted out many expeditions to Bengal. It 
happened that KMjeh Shihab-ud-din referred the matter of the 
capture of his galleot to Nuno da Cunha and agreed to ransom 
Affonso de Mello for 3000 cruzados* if he got back his vessel. 
His vessel, with all its goods, was restored to him and he 
indeed ransomed Affonso de Mello in 1529 and sent him with 
his cousin Khajeh Shakr-Ulla(Coge Sukurula) to Goa. Khajeh 
Shihab-ud-din became now a great friend of the Portuguese and 
with their help he determined to free himself from some trouble 
he had got into with Nasrat Shah, the Sultan of Bengal, and to 
escape to Ormuz in a Portuguese vessel. He promised to use 
his influence with the king to give them great facilities for trade 
and eveft to give them permission to build a fort in Chittagong, 
if they would only send an expedition to help him in his projects. 

Nuno da Cunha naturally chose Martim Affonso de Mello, 
the same man whom the Persian had ransomed, to command 

Second Expedition the expedition. This captain landed in 
under Maf tim Affonso Bengal in 1 533 with five ships and two 

de Mello. 1533 , . , _ , . ,. , 

hundred men.f One ship called Sao 
Raphael was government property, the other four being the 
property of private captains. All the cargo belonged to joint 
stock companies. The object of this expedition was not only to 
help Khajeh Shiab-ud-din but through his influence to attempt 
to open commerce with Bengal and choose a suitable site for a 
factory. When Affonso de Mello reached Chittagong, he sent 
to Gaur his ambassador, Duarte de Azevedo with twelve men 

* A cruzado was a Portuguese coin, so called from the cross marked 
on it. It was worth 420 rets that is about 9 sh. according to the value 
attached by Yule to the rets in the sixteenth century. Cf. Hobson-Jobson 
s. v.pardao. According to Gerson da Cunha a cruzado or 420 rets would 
be worth about 2 sh. only. Frei Ambrosio de Santo Agostinho says in 
1750 "we spent 1,200 rupees which amount to 1200 Cruzados". Cf. O 
Chronista de Tissuary Vol. II. p. 62. 

t Correa gives the date as 1533, de Barros as 1534, Faria y Sousa as 
1538. I have generally followed the dates, of Correa* 



among whom was Nuno Fernandes Freire and according to the 
prevailing custom, he sent presents to the King such as horses, 
brocades and sundry other things worth in all about £1200. 
King Mahmud Shah was at that time in a sullen and irritable 
frame of mind, gnawed as he was by the remorse of having as- 
cended the throne by the murder of his nephew Firuz Shah 
III. Moreover, he is said to have been prejudiced against the 
Portuguese because he recognized among the presents some 
boxes of rose water which a Portuguese corsair named Damiao 
Bernaldes had seized from a Moorish ship. Highly incensed, the 
King immediately decided to put to the sword not only the 
ambassador and his men but, by any form of treachery, all the 
Portuguese that came in this expedition. A Moor named 
Alfu Khan* and a Moorish saint, reputed to be a hundred years 
old, interceded in their favour dissuading him from murder. 
The King, however, determined to imprison them, and sent a 
Guazil f to the port of Chittagong where Affonso de Mello 
was staying, in order to seize him and his men. A dispute had 
meanwhile arisen between Affonso de Mello and the Moorish 
custom officers ; and the Guazil took this opportunity to inter- 
fere and ultimately invited the Portuguese commander and his 
men to a dinner. Affonso de Mello and forty other Portuguese 
suspecting no treachery accepted the invitation while the rest 
preferred a hog r hunt. The dinner was held in a large courtyard 
surrounded on all sides by verandahs above. During the dinner 
the Guazil rose on pretence of illness and immediately a number 
of Moors came with guns and bows and arrows and began to 
hurl them against the unfortunate guests. The Portuguese did 
not, however, give in but tried to defend themselves with their 

* Blochmann identifies him with Alfa HussanI of Baghdad. Cf. 
Geography and History of Bengal J. A. S. B. 1873 p. 298 n. 

\ De Barros defines Guazil as a Moorish judicial Officer. Correa, 
Lendas, Vol. Ill, p. 722, calls Nuno Fernandes Freire Gozil of the 
custom house of Satg&on in connection with his appointment as chief of 
the custom house. The word 'finds no place in Hobson-Jobson. 



swords. Unable to hold out, they eventually surrendered. 
Some of those that were on shore were also killed and property 
valued at ;£ioo,ooo was confiscated. De Barros dwells at 
lengthen this event and his pages read like the description 
of the Black Hole.* Ten Portuguese were killed including 
Christovam de Mello, the nephew of the Governor Lopo Vaz 
de Sampayo. Affonso de Mello himself was wounded. Thirty 
Portuguese who survived the massacre were tied up and put 
in a dark room. Their wounds were not attended to for some 
days and then they were forced to march six leagues during 
one whole night till they reached a place called Mava. They 
were eventually taken to Gaur and were treated not like men 
but like beasts. Duarte d'Azavedo and his twelve men who 
had gone to Gaur as envoys were also confined in what de 
Barros calls a hell {inferno). 

Nuno da Cunha, the Governor, swore revenge when the news 
of this disaster reached Goa. He prepared in great haste a fleet 

of nine sail manned by 350 Portuguese. He 

M^t°4sf lVa sent 11 under the ca P tainshi P of Antonio da 

Silva Menezesf instructing him to demand 

an explanation from the King of Bengal why his ambassador 
who had gone to establish relations of peace and friendli- 
ness was so badly treated. If the King did not return Affonso 
de Mello and his men, Menezes was ordered to wage war with 
"fire and blood." As soon as Menezes arrived in Chittagong he 
sent Jorge Alcocorado to King Mahmud Shah with the message 
of the Portuguese Governor and with the threat that if any 
harm were done to him or if he were not allowed to return 
within a month, war would be declared against him. Mahmud 
Shah, as obdurate as ever, would not think of setting free 
Affonso de Mello and his men but sent a letter to Antonio da 

* . CoutQ, Dec. IV. Pt. I. Liv. IV, Cap. X, and Francisco D'Andrade 
Part II, Chap. 80, 81, describe this episode a little differently. 

t De Barros, Da Asia, Dec. IV, Pt. II, Liv. IX, Cap. V. 



Silva Menezes requesting from the Governor of Goa a number 
of carpenters, jewellers and other workmen. Before these 
negotiations were over, a month had elapsed. Menezes there- 
upon, set fire to a great part of Chittagong and captured and 
killed a great number of people.* Although Jorge Alcocorado 
had to stay beyond the limit of his time, he had departed 
from .Gaur only three days before the burning of Chittagong 
had begun. The King immediately ordered his arrest but 
Jorge Alcocorado escaped just in time and joined Antonio da 
Silva Menezes. One would expect that the days of Martim 
Affonso de Mello and his men were numbered ; but new 
developments were taking place, and Bengal was soon to 
become a theatre of war owing to the quarrels between Sher 
ShSh and Humayun in which Affonso de Mello was destined 
to play an important part. 

Sher Shah,| who was perhaps the greatest and the most 
treacherous of the Afghans; who had introduced himself in 

the service of Babar and then sworn to 

Sher ShSh, IJJJ 

oust the Mughals from India ; who un- 
able to oppose the Lodi King of Bihar had joined him, 
marched with him to fight against Humayun and then deser- 
ted him and given the victory over to Mughals, came now to 
Bengal and determined to make himself master of it whilst 
Humayun was busy in Gujrat. He began a campaign against 
Mahmud Shah who, now no longer proud and unrelenting, was 
compelled by circumstances to implore the help of the very 
man whom he had treated so cruelly. He sought advice from 
Martim Aftonso de Mello as to the plan of defence and decided 

* Another account differs a . little from de Barros and relates that 
Mahmuct Shah demanded ,£15,000 as ransom, which being too exorbi- 
tant, Menezes decided upon bombarding Chittagong. 

f At the time of Sher Shah's invasion of Bengal he was known as 
Sher Khan and hence the Portuguese historians call him Xercansur. 
De Barros, however, calls him Xtr$nan t quite correctly. 



to send an ambassador to Nuno da Cunha, the Portuguese 
Governor in Goa, asking for help. 

At this critical juncture there happened to arrive at 
Satgaon, Diogo Rebello, the Portuguese captain and factor of 

the Coromandel pearl fisheries.* Accord- 

Diogo Rebello, /S3S n ~ . ... 

ing to Gaspar Correa he came in his own 
vessel and two foists well armed with guns. Nuno da Cunha 
had asked him to go to Bengal to see if by any means he 
could save Martim Affonso de Mello and his men. At this time 
two big ships laden with merchandise came to Satgaon from 
Cambay. Rebello, without molesting these ships, forced them 
to leave this port and forbade them to carry on any trade. This 
illustrates the policy which the Portuguese had adopted, in 
order to destroy the Arab commerce, claiming for themselves 
alone, the right of trading in the Indian seas. Rebello sent 
Diogo de Spindola, his own nephew, and Duarte Dias, to the 
King in Gaur with a message that if he did not liberate the 
Portuguese prisoners he would seize his ports and repeat in 
Satgaon what Menezes had done in Chittagong. This was the 
first time when a Portuguese captain is recorded to have sailed 
up to Gaur by the Hooghly, the others having gone to Gaur up 
the Meghna from Chittagong. As already stated, Mahmud Shah 
was no longer the same as Menezes had found him. He wrote 
to the Governor in Satgaon to receive Rebello well, and to 
inform him that he was sending his ambassador to the Portu- 
guese Governor in Goa as a proof of his friendship. He asked for 
Portuguese help and in return he promised to grant them land 
to erect their factories and permission to build fortresses in 
Chittagong and Satgaon. The object of Martim Affonso de 
Mello was gained ; he had been in prison for two years before he 
was liberated, and had undergone captivity again in pursuance 
of the very object which was now about to be realized. ■ The 

* Cf. De Barros, Da Asia, Dec. IV, Pt. II, p. 496 et seq., and Correa, 
Lendas % Vol. I II, p. 649 ; also Caslanheda, Liv. VIII. Cap. CX. p. 261 4tseq. 



King returned twenty-two prisoners to Diogo Rebello and 
excused himself for not sending back Martim Affonso de Mello 
because he needed his advice most of all. AfTonso de Mello 
himself wrote a letter on behalf of Mahmud Shah assuring the 
Governor that the Portuguese would get permission to erect their 
factories and fortresses. Sic tempora mutantur et nos in Mis. 

Meanwhile Sher Shah was advancing and decided to enter 
Gaur by the passes of Teliagarhi and Sikligali leading to the 

Sher Shah's Invasion fortreSS ° f GotV ) ( Gafhi ) * T ° defend these 

and the Portuguese Sue- passes which were considered to be the 
cesses, 1336 gateways to Bengal, troops were sent in two 

ships, one under the command of Joao de Villalobos and the 
other of Joao Correa. The Portuguese offered a stubborn 
resistance and prevented Sher Shah from taking the city of 
Ferranduz, which was twenty leagues from the city of Gaur. 
The Portuguese historians say the Portuguese did wonders and 
captured a particular elephant which King Mahmud Shah 
especially wanted ; but Sher Shah went by another less 
protected way and entered Gaur with 40,000 cavalry, 1,500 
elephants and 200,000 men and with a fleet of 300 boats.f 
Mahmud Shah, unable to offer any resistance paid an enormous 
sum of money amounting to thirteen lakhs of gold or 525,000 
pardaos % and made peace with him although Martim AfTonso 

* These passes, near Colgong, are now traversed by the East Indian 
Railway. For the position of Ferranduz and fortress of Gorij see Map of 
de Barros. ' 

t De Barros, Da Asia, Dec. IV. Pt. II. Liv. IX, Cap. VII, p. 500. 

X Castanheda, Histona, Liv. VIII, Cap. CXXVIII. The historian 
is not definite as to in what coins the "thirteen lakhs of gold" were paid. 
He however gives the equivalent of the sum in pardaos. As the Portu- 
guese historians generally speak of money in pardaos it is important 
to ascertain the value of a pardao t the value of which has undergone 
many variations. Originally it was a gold coin of Western India, which 
was adopted in the Goa currency. Later on a Portuguese silver coin was 
called a pardao. Hence there were two kinds of pardaos a gold one 
(Pardao d'ouro) worth 360 rets and a silver one (Pardao de Tanga) worth 
300 rets. Castanheda obviously attaches to a pardao the value which A. 
Nunes (1554) attached to it, viz, 5 silver tangas or 300 rets which amount 


de Mello advised him to the contrary. The soundness of 
Affonso de Mello's advice was apparent when Sher Shah soon 
after attacked Mahmud Shah again, utilizing the latter's money 
against him. 

Though Mahmud Shah had not emerged victorious in the 
campaign, he did not fail the recognize the services of the 
Portuguese. He gave to Affonso de Mello a present of 
45,000 rets and alloted to each of the Portuguese a daily sum 
of money equivalent to ten cruzados for food expenses. How- 
ever, finding himself secure from the menace of Sher Shah, 
he changed his mind as to allowing the Portuguese to build 

First settlements in f° rtresses m Chittagong and Satgaon but 
Chittagong and Satgaon, he permitted Affonso de Mello to build 
*536 '537 factories and offered to give them custom- 

houses. He, indeed, appointed Nuno Fernandez Freire the 
chief of the custom-house of Chittagong, granted him land 
with many houses empowering him to realize rent from the 
Moors and Hindus who lived there, and gave him many other 
privileges over the people. The custom house of Satgaon which 
was less in importance than that of Chittagong, was given to 
Joao Correa. The people were indeed surprised to see that the 
King had given the Portuguese so much power and such a firm 
footing in Bengal. This was the first establishment of the 
Portuguese in Bengal, almost simultaneously in Chittagong 
and Satgaon.* 

Under conditions so favourable and pregnant with possibi- 
lities, Affonso Vaz de Britof came in a ship to Bengal from 

to about 4 sh. 6 d. as the value of a real in the 16th century was about 
one-fourth of a penny while to day it is about one-seventeenth. The 
value of a fardao deteriorated until its worth became io| d. Cf. Yule 
and Burnell, Hobson-Jobson s. V. Pardao. 

* Castanheda, ffisloria, Liv. VIII, Cap. CXXVIII, 303. For a fuller 
account of these settlements, Vide infra. 

t Cf. Correa, Lendas, Vol. Ill, p. 814 and Castanheda, Hist. Liv. 
VIII, Cap. CLXXVII, p. 403 etseg. De Barros makes only a passing 
reference to Affonso Vaz de Brito. Vide Dec. IV, pt. n. p. 502. 




Cochin with instructions from Nuno da Cunha to bring 

back Martjm Affonso de Mello and carry 
ifjt° n$0 VaZ * nh * ms letter in reply to Mahmud Shah's' 

request about the help that the latter had 
asked for. He, however, hesitated a good deal to land in 
Chittagong as there was temporarily a great commotion 
against the Portuguese arising from a report to the King 
about the Portuguese Governor having murdered the King of 
Cambay and ransacked his property. But Antonio Menezes 
de Crasto having, at this juncture, arrived in Chittagong, with 
merchandise and a letter from the Portuguese Governor 
explaining the Cambay affair, there was no more trouble. 
Affonso Vaz de Brito landed in Chittagong where he met 
Nuno Fernandes Freire at the Portuguese custom-house. 
Having, then, gone to the Court of Gaur he requested the 
King to liberate Affonso de Mello and gave him Nuno da 
Cunha's letter in which it was stated that he could not 
send him any help because the wars in Cambay had made 
a demand on all his available -men and that he* would 
assuredly send it the following year. Mahmud Shah highly 
grateful as he was to the Portuguese for the valuable assistance 
they had rendered in defending the passes permitted Martim 
Affonso de Mello to leave Bengal with his men. He kept 
only five Portuguese, including Affonso Vaz de Brito, as 
hostages for the promised help. 

After the departure of Affonso de Mello, news arrived in 
Gaur that Sher Shah was advancing again with a very power- 
ful force in order to demand another large sum of money 
m Campaigns of wmcn ne declared was to be his annual 
Sher Shah and Humay- tribute and was now due to him after 

-the lapse of a year. Mahmud Shah who % 
had never agreed to such a compact refused to pay the tribute ; 
whereupon, Sher Shah invaded Gaur, burnt and pillaged the 
town, and took possession of sixty millions in gold. Mahmud 



Shah covered with wounds fled to Hazipore and thence to 
Chunar, where Humayun was waiting with a large army to 
punish the revolt of Sher Shah. Humayun sent one of his 
captains to Mahmud Shah asking him to come to him, but 
the latter died of his wounds before he could see Humayun 
and was burried by the Mughals with great pomp and 

Humayun advanced against Sher Shah, attacked Gaur and 
forced him to retreat to Sasseram, after which he spent three 
months rioting in Gaur. Jibe-rains having set in, Sher Shah 
cut off the retreat of Humayun, who was forced to ask the 
Afghan to allow him to return promising to give him 
Bengal and Bihar. Sher Shah agreed and swore on. the. Koran 
that during the return of Humayun's army he would injure 
no MyghaL~~B«t that very night he treacherously put eight 
thousand Mughals to death and the Emperor himself narrowly 
escaped with a few friends and fled to Lahore where his brother 
Kamran (Camiran Mirza) whom he had recently poisoned and 
who had not yet recovered from the effects thereof, received 
him hospitably.* Sher Shah proclaimed himself Emperor of 
Bengal in 1538 and the following year marching against 
Humayun at the head of 500,000 Afghans, fought the great 
battle of Kanouj, defeated him and ascended the throne of 
Delhi. Thus he gained the throne for which he had fought 
for fifteen years and which he after all retained for only five 
years.f Henceforward till 1 576 the Portuguese had to struggle 
with the successors of Sher Shah. 

The help which Nuno da Cunha had promised Mahmud 

* Faria y Souza, Trans. Stevens^ Vol. I, p. 241. 

f The campaigns of Sher Shah and Humayun in a Bengal are 
described in the Portuguese chronicles so minutely, that it is a pity no 
History of Bengal has taken them into consideration. Even the 
Muhammadan accounts give a poor and scanty information of this period, 
a comparitive study of which I reserve for my larger work referred to in 
the Preface. 



Shah did come indeed, but it was too late. The expedition 

was commanded by Vasco Peres de 
fayo^H™ Sam Sampayo and consisted of nine vessels * 

This captain reached Chittagong when 
Sher Shah was already master of Bengal. At this time disputes 
arose between the generals of Mahmud Shah, Khuda 
Baksh Khan (Codovascao) and Amirza Khan (Amarzacao) 
regarding the possession of Chittagong. Nuno Fernandes 
Freire whom Mahmud Shah had created chief of the custom- 
house and who wielded great influence in Chittagong inter- 
vened and declared in favour of Amirza Khan. Sher Shah, 
however, sent his captain (Nogazil) to Chittagong and he took 
possession of the town. Finding Chittagong in such a pre- 
carious state Nuno Fernandes Freire advised Sampayo to 
conquer the town which he could easily have done. But 
whether it was on moral or political grounds, he refused to 
do so. Meanwhile Amirza Khan collected a force and sent it 
against Sher Shah's captain who asked for the help of Nuno 
Fernandes Freire preferring rather to be a prisoner of the 
Portuguese than of the "Bengalas". When Fernandes went 
to the house of Sher Shah's Nogazil which was now under 
a siege, the men of Amirza Khan who knew him well gave 
him a great ovation. He dissuaded them from seizing the 
Nogazil but, he himself, with fifty Portuguese whom Sampayo 
had sent ashore, eventually captured the Nogazil and im- 
prisoned him in one of Sampayo's vessels whence after six 
month's captivity he managed to escape by bribing a sub- 
ordinate. It happened, however, that a galleot with sixty armed 
Moors of Raja Suleiman came to Chittagong and engaged some 
of Sampayo's men ; but Sampayo who had behaved cowardly 
all throughout, would not send any more men for their help 
nor send a ship to defend a Portuguese merchantman, which 

• The account of this expedition is based on Castanheda, Historic^ 



was in danger, inspite of Fernandes repeatedly asking him 
to do so. Diogo Rebello and Nuno Fernandes themselves 
condutced the defence during which the latter was wounded. 

Vasco Peres de Sampayo passed the whole of winter in 
Bengal and then went to Pegu where he died. Castanheda who 
gives a very full account* of this event concludes that through 
the folly and indiscretion of Sampayo the King of Portugal 
lost Chittagong which could easily have been taken possession 
of, considering that Sher Shah was busily engaged on the other 
side of Bengal. Any way, Martim Afifonso de Mello's sufferings 
had not been in vain. The Portuguese had obtained from 
Mahmud Shah a vast establishment and a custom-house in 
Chittagong and a smaller one in Satgaon. The latter establish- 
ment did not seem to have prospered and gained any impor- 
tance, as Mahmud Shah died and the Afghans came into 
power. Most writers on Hooghly have, curiously enough, given 
Sampayo the credit of having established the first settlement in 
Satgaon or rather Hooghly, when the fact is that Sampayo 
never came to Hooghly. 

Many other Portuguese captains came to Bengal besides 
those mentioned above, but their doings may be passed over 
in silence as not being of sufficient importance. 

* Castanheda, Historic ut supra. 



The history of the Portuguese is not now one of expedi- 
tions but of their trade and settlements in Bengal, nay more, 
H M of their conquests. The Portuguese, as has 

been shown, had already come with arms 
and fought on the fields of Bengal, not so much for themselves 
as for others, in return for which they obtained a settlement 
in Satgaon, in the Hooghly District. In Indo-European history 
there is not, undoubtedly, a more interesting Indian town 
than Hooghly because there, within a range of a few miles, 
seven European nations fought for supremacy : the Portuguese, 
the Dutch, the English, the Danes, the French, the Flemish, and 
the Prussians.* Before the Portuguese settlement Hooghly 
had neither a distinct existence nor history of its own. It was 
only a small insignificant village consisting of a few huts, while 
Satgaon was a great port and a flourishing city whose anti- 
quity extended beyond the times of Ptolemy. The Portuguese, 
indeed, were founders of the town of Hooghly. 

* The Dutch settled in Chinsura, with headquarters in Fort Gus- 
tavus ; the English first established themselves in the town of Hooghly ; 
the French in Hooghly, then in Chandernagore ; the Danes in Gondal- 
para, south-east of Chandernagore and then in Serampore ; the Flemish 
m Bankibazar ; and the Prussians or Embdeners in a place a mile south 
of Fort Orleans in Chandernagore. There is a good deal of confusion 
about the Prussian and Flemish settlements. O'Malley, Hooghly Gazetteer, 
p. 87-91 understands that Bankibazar was a Flemish and not Prussian 
settlement and that the Ostend Company which settled there was a Flemish 
and not Prussian Company. Hill in his Bengal in 1756-57 enters Banki- 
bazar as a Prussian settlement in the Index, though he says it was held by 
the Ostend Company. Sir W. Hunter also calls Bankipur (Bankibazar) 
a Prussian settlement understanding the Ostend Company to have been 
the Prussian Company. Vide, India of the Queen and other Essays, 
pp. 201-2. The real name of the Prussian or Embden Company which 
was founded by Fredericke the Great in 1753 was Bengalische Handels- 

Portuguese In Bengal, 1919. 



C pa| ) BANDEK 

/ CP-') 

i/ (p.*) 





"> — * (MODIFIED ntOMBBMO.) 













p. 1 

— Firtf PbrtngnM* Settlement. 

p. t 

= Second „ H 

P. s 

= Third „ 


= Dutch Settlement. 


^Fwoohr «« 


— Fl«niih 


sDaniih „ 


* The account of the foundation of the Portuguese settle- 
ment in Hooghly has taxed the imagination of most writers 

on Hooghly. On this point much has, 

Common Errors about . , , , ... e , . , 

the Portuguese Settle- indeed, been written for which there is 
DistriJ n tke H ° Qghly absolutel y no historical evidence. The 

Rev. Long* states the Portuguese got 
Bandel in 1538 and built a fort there in 1599. Others say 
that Vasco Peres de Sampayo came to Hooghly in 1 537-38 and 
built a fort at Hooghly. Shumbhoo Chunder Dey f doubts its 
truth and yet Dr. Crawford} quotes him as having asserted 
the fact about Sampayo's building the fort. Succeeding 
writers have perpetuated and even added to these errors, until 
they find a place in our most modern Gazetteers. If the original 
Portuguese sources were consulted many mis-statements would 
have been avoided. 

The fact was that the Portuguese established three settle- 
ments in the Hooghly District, each distinct in its origin, time 
and even place. The confusion about them has obviously 
arisen from the one being mixed up with the other. The first 
settlement was made in Satgaon, not in Hooghly proper, nor in 
Bandel. It was, moreover, made by Affbnso de Mello and not 
by Vasco Peres de Sampayo, who made a poor display of 
himself in Chittagong. Neither de Barros nor Correa refers to 
any of the doings of Sampayo in Bengal, and Castanheda who 
gives a detailed account of his expedition has nothing to 
say about his ever being in Hooghly. As Faria y Souza 
rightly says,§ Sampayo arrived too late to be of any help to 
Mahmud Shah, and in fact he arrived after the latter had died of 
wounds at Chunar. The second settlement was founded in 

* Cal. Rev. Vol. V, 1846, p. 258. 

t Cal Rev. Vol. XCV, 1892, p. 259. 

% A Brief History of the Hughly DisU p. 4. 

§ Cf. Faria y Souza, Trans, of Stevens^ 1695, Ch. IX, pp. 418-20. 
For further account see Castanheda, ut supra. 



Hooghly proper by Tavares to whom Akbar granted a famian 
(1579-80). The third settlement was established in Bandel, 
close to the previous one, under a furman of Shah Jahan 
granted in 1633, a year after the Siege of Hooghly. As to 
the supposed existence of a Portuguese fort in Hooghly, all 
evidence points to a contrary conclusion.* 

The descriptions of the Portuguese settlement in Satgaon 
are found in Castanheda and Correa. The following is a literal 

translation of the passage in Castanhedaf 

swl»%%t ne "'' a S ist of which has alread y ^n given :~ 

"and the King after seeing himself free 

from war, or for some other reason, changed the wish which 
he had of giving fortresses to the King of Portugal in Chitta* 
gong (Chatigao) and Satgaon (Satigao) but not of giving the 
custom-houses with houses of factories, and thus he told 
Martim Affonso who reminded him that he promised fortress- 
es ; and he seeing that the King would not assent to this, did 
not like to dispute it and told him to give whatever he liked. 
And at his request the King made Nuno Fernandes Freire the 
the chief of the custom-house of Chittagong giving him a 
great circuit of houses in which the Moors and Hindus lived in 
order that it might bring him rent as also the custom-house of 
Chittagong (might bring him rent) and gave him many other 
powers at which all in the land were surprised, as also at the 
King being such a great friend of the Portuguese whom he 
wanted to settle {arreigar) in the country. And the custom-- 
house of Satgaon which was smaller he gave to Joao Correa 
and soon he and Nuno Fernandes Freire went to these two' 
cities to perform their offices, for which the Guazils of these 
two cities were very sad because the power that they had was 
taken, chiefly of Chittagong which was bigger." Castanheda 

* Vide Chapter V. 

t Cf, Castanheda, Li v. VIII, Cap. CXXVIII, p. 303. 


does not, indeed, distinctly say that the Portuguese erected a 
factory in Satgaon but it is evident that they did erect a 
factory or made some sort of establishment from the fact that 
Mahmud Shah did not change his mind as to giving the 
Portuguese, custom-houses and factories both in Chittagong 
and Satgaon and did actually appoint Joao Correa, the head of 
the custom-house in Satgaon. Gaspar Correa* also confirms 
Castanheda differing only in that he says Nuno Fernandes 
Freire was given the custom-house with much rent ( sic ) 
in Satgaon (Satigao) and that Christovam Correa (not Joao 
Correa) was given the custom-house of Chittagong (Chatigao) 
with much rent and power ( sic ) over the people of the land. 
As early as 1554 Antonio Nunesf referred to Satgaon as Porto 
Pequeno and obviously the Portuguese must have thus named 
it from the time of their first settlement in 1537-8. When the 
Portuguese established themselves in the town of Hooghly, 
and Satgaon was no longer the great city that it was, they 
applied the name Porto Pequeno to the port of Hooghly. 
Yule and Burnell lose sight of this second denomination in 
their Hobson-Jobson, where only Satgaon is said to have been 
called Porto Pequeno. 

The Muhammadan historian Abdul Hamld Lahorl who 

A Muhammadan Ac died in l6 54, also dates the Portuguese 
count of the Settlement settlement earlier than Akbar's time. He 
says in the Badshahnama% : — "Under the rule of the Bengalis, 
(d&Sakd-i-Bangatiyari) a party of Frank § merchants, who are 

* Cf. Lendas, Vol. Ill, p. 722. Castanheda certainly deserves more 
credence than Correa because we find Nuno Fernandes Freire in 
Chittagong and not in Satgaon, receiving Portuguese Captains in his 
custom-house and settling the quarrels between Khuda Baksh Khan and 
Amirza Khan. 

f Nunes, Livro dos Pesos etc. Subsidies, p. 37. 

t Elliot, Hist, of India, Vol. VII pp. 31-32. 

§ Frank is the parent word of Feringhi by which name the Indian- 
born Portuguese are still known. The Arabs and Persians called the 
French cruzaders Frank, Ferang, a corruption of France. When the 
Portuguese and other Europeans came to India the Arabs applied 
to them the same name Ferang, and then Feringhi. 




inhabitants of Sundip came trading to Satganw. One kos 
above that place they occupied some ground on the bank 
of the estuary. Under the pretence that a building was 
necessary for their transactions in buying and selling, 
they erected several houses in the Bengali style. In 
course of time, through the ignorance or negligence of the 
rulers of Bengal, these Europeans increased in number, and 
erected large substantial buildings, which they fortified with 
cannons, muskets, and other implements of war. In due 
course a considerable place grew up which was known by the 
name of the Port of Hugh. On one side of it was the river, 
and on the other three sides was a ditch filled from the river. 
European ships used to go up to the port and a trade was estab- 
lished there. The markets of Satganw declined and lost their 
prosperity. The villages and the district of Hugh" were on 
both sides of the river and these the Europeans got possession 
of at a low rent." It is evident from this passage that the 
Portuguese had some sort of settlement in or above Satgaon 
before Akbar's conquest of Bengal in 1 576. The question is who 
these Bengali kings were, during whose reign the Portuguese 
settled above Satgaon. The Oriya Kings possessed the 
Hooghly district from TribenI downwards from 1 560-1 567. 
From 1568 to 1575 reigned the dynasty of Sulaiman KararanI 
(1568-73). O'Malley* suggests that the settlement must have 
taken place between 1568 and 1573 in the reign of Sulaiman 
Kararani. This conjecture has nothing to support it. 

It is probable that Abdul Hamld Lahorl confirms the 
Portuguese historians though rather vaguely and that the 
Bengali rulers referred to were the Lodi Kings, the last of 
whom granted the Portuguese a settlement in Satgaon. The 
Mughal historians actually referred to the earlier Muham- 
madan rulers of Bengal as Bengali kings. It cannot be said 

* Hooghly Gazetteer, p. 48. 


the account of Lahori is quite indefinite for while he places 
the settlement above Satgaon, he says it grew up into what is 
known as the port of Hooghly, which is really below Satgaon. 
It is true in a way that he confounds the Portuguese settle- 
ment of Satgaon with that of Hooghly. Yet the fact that he 
places the first Portuguese settlement above Satgaon has some 
significance in that he probably means that it was a little above 
the main Muhammadan city of Satgaon, whence it extended 
to Hooghly. Else, Lahorl's account would be an absurdity. 

In spite of the abundant evidence of Portuguese his- 
torians partly corroborated hy\ a Muhammadan account 

modern writers have not recognized 

Other Accounts 

the Portuguese settlement of Satgaon. 
Fr. H. Hosten S. J. whose authority is very valuable in 
Portuguese history asserts* : " The Portuguese first settled 
at Hugli under a farman from Fatehpur Sikri between 
1578 and 1580. Until that time they had not been allowed 
when coming up the river to do more than build godowns 
in bamboo and thatch wl^ich were burnt down regularly 
every year when they returned to Goa." Fr. Hosten 
evidently bases his statement on the account of the 
traveller Caesar Federici vwio writing about what he saw in 
Bengal about 1 565 says.f " Every year at Buttor they make 
and unmake a village wjfh houses and shops made of straw, 
and with all things necessary to their uses ; and this village 
standeth as long as the sliips ride there, and till they depart 
for the Indies, and when they are departed, every man goeth 
to his plot of houses and there setteth fire on them which 
thing m ade me to marvel. For as I passed upto Satagan, I saw 
this village standing with a great number of people, with an in- 
finite number of ships and bazars, and at my return coming 
down with my Captain of the last ship for whom I tarried, I 

* Bengal Past and Present Jan.— Mar. 191 5 pp. 42*43' 
t C. Federici. Purchas V. 411, 439. 



was all amazed to see such a place so soon raised and burnt 
and nothing left but the sign of burnt houses." Federici, it 
will be seen, only speaks of the making and unmaking of 
villages in Betor, (Howrah, near Botanical Gardens) which he 
saw when going up to Satgaon. Even though in the rest of 
his account he does not refer at all to the Portuguese settle- 
ment in Satgaon, it cannot be inferred that the Portuguese 
never had a settlement in Sagtaon. By 1 565 when Federici 
visited Satgaon all traces of the Portuguese settlement might 
have disappeared and the Afghans who reigned after 
Mahmud Shah might have taken away from the Portuguese 
their custom-house and their factory, so that they found it 
necessary to build many sheds on the banks of the Hooghly 
to store their goods in. If Castanheda and Correa are to be 
believed, and there is no reason to doubt them, the Portuguese 
did something more than "build go-downs in bamboo and 
thatch " before they founded their great settlement in Hooghly 
in Akbar's time. Manrique also dates the origin of the city of 
Ugolim (Hooghly) to the fannan of Akbar and speaks of the 
golas (store-houses) of the Portuguese.* His evidence does not 
obviously go against that of Castanheda since he speaks of the 
Portuguese settlement in Hooghly and not the one in Satgaon 
about which he does not seem to have been informed at all. It 
must be considered that between the date of the settlement in 
Satgaon and Manrique's visit to Hooghly almost a century 
had elapsed. 

Whatever might have been the fate of the first establishment 
Second Settlement, of the Portuguese, they definitely settled in 
Hoogkty, 1579-80 the town of Hooghly about 1580 by virtue 

of a charter conceded to them by Akbar. Manrique, who was in 
Bengal (1628-29) gives a pretty detailed account of this settle- 
ment, prior to which the Portuguese according to him, did 
not permanently stay in Bengal. They remained during the 

• Manrique, Bengal Past and Present Apr.— June 1916, p. 286. 



rainy season in Bengal buying and selling goods and went 
home to Goa when the rains were over. Later on the Portu- 
guese remained for one or two years without going back and 
the Moorish collector in the district even invited them to bring 
their Fathers and erect churches. Akbar seeing the precious 
goods which the Portuguese used to bring to Bengal from 
Borneo, Malacca and other ports ordered the Nawab of Dacca 
under whom the Hooghly District then was, to send from 
Satgaon two principal Portuguese to his Court in Agra. The 
Nawab immediately sent a messenger to Satgaon for this 
purpose but on account of the delay that occurred on the way 
he reached Satgaon after a journey of twenty-eight days and 
found that the Portuguese had gone, some to Malacca and 
others to China. However the Mirza assured the Nawab that 
the Portuguese would come back the next year as they had 
left behind in the hands of some merchants (Sodagones) goods 
worth more than two thousand rupees 4 . But Akbar having 
expressed his indignation at the Nawab's negligence, the 
latter took it so much to heart that, as Manrique relates, he 
died shortly after. . 

The following year a Portuguese captain named Pedro 

Tavares* "a man well versed in politics 
FomuSr ' tf™the*Set!u- and state-affairs" arrived in Satgaon and 
ment of Hooghly, ij 79 - was rece ived with great joy. On learn- 
ing that the Emperor Akbar wished that 
two Portuguese should come to him from Bengal, he gladly 
accepted the invitation and chosing two Portuguese and 
many servants went to Agra. Akbar, favourably impressed 
with the conduct and valour of the Portuguese who with 
Antonio Cabral had, sometime before, gone to see him at Surat, 

» A full account of Pedro Tavares is given by Manrique, Itinerant) etc. 
For what relates to Bengal Vide Fr. Carton's Trans. Bengal Past and 
Present, April— June 1916. Bartoli, Missione al Gran Mogor, 18 19, p. 5. 
calls Tavares a military servant of Akbar, which is wrong. 



took a great liking to Tavares and had several interviews with 
him. He gave him many valuable presents and a farman 
permitting him to build a city in Bengal wherever he liked. 
He granted the Portuguese full religious liberty with leave 
to preach their religion and build Churches and even baptize 
the gentiles with their consent. Besides, the Mughal officers 
were ordered to help the Portuguese with all materials 
necessary for the construction of their houses. 

The Akbarnama* mentions one Partab Bar Feringui one 
of the chief merchants of the port of Bengal who came in 1 579f 
to Akbar's Court at Agra with his wife Basurba and won 
great favour and esteem from the Emperor. » As H. Beveridge 
suggests, % this Partab Bar must have been Pedro Tavares. 
The name, indeed, approximates very closely, in spite of 
the mutilation which is very common in the Muhammadan 
historians. In the different MSS. of the Akbarnama there 
are various forms of the spelling of Partab Bar's wife, 
such as Basurba, Nashurna, Nasunta, while some MSS. do 
not refer to her at all. It is only a guess of H. Beveridge 
or of the lady who told him, that the real name of Tavares's 
wife might have been Assumpta. Considering the severe 
mutilation which the Portuguese names have undergone 
in the Muhamadan histories it is wiser not to hazard 
groundless conjectures in the attempt to identify them. In the 
Akbarnama§ there is a further reference " to Partab Bar 
where it is said that Mirza Najat Khan, Akbar's Faujdar 
at Satgaon, fled to the Portuguese Governor of Hooghly, 
after being defeated by the King of Orissa. This leads 

* Elliot Hist of India, Vol. VI. p. 59. 

t Though Tavares was at Akbar's Court in 1579, he must have gone 
there a year or two before. Vide infra. 

\ J. A. S. B. 1888, p. 34* and J. A. S. B. 1904, p. 52. 

§ P. 320 of the original 



Blochmann* to identify Partab Bar with the Portuguese Gover- 
nor of Hooghly. As Tavares who was at Akbar's Court in 1 579 
must have been the same as the Portuguese Governor of 
Hooghly in 1580, the account of the Akbarnama beautifully 
tallies with that of Manrique ; and Partab Bar was evidently 
no other than Pedro Tavares. Blochmann's and Beveridge's 
identifications of Partab Bar should not therefore be taken 
as referring to two different persons. 

Tavares must have exerted a great influence on Akbar. 
At his request Akbar exempted the Portuguese merchants 
from all the custom-duties of which they had defrauded the 
treasury until 1529.! To Tavares and two Jesuit Missionaries 
of Bengal must be given the credit of having convinced Akbar 
of the "truth of Law of Christ" or at least impressed him favour- 
ably towards the Christians. In consequence of a petition of 
Tavares, Akbar called for a priest named Fr. Juliano Pereira 
from Bengal so as to learn from him something more about 
the Christian Faith. Fr. Juliano Pereira having acquainted the 
Emperor with the tenets of the Christian religion asked him 
to send for more learned priests from Goa. From this resulted 
the famous Mission of Fr. Rodolfo Aquaviva.J 

When Tavares returned to Hooghly in 1579 or 1580 he 
was high in the estimation of the people and choosing a 

favourable site in Hooghly established the 
foZdld H ° 0ghly W<tS settlement, which grew into the greatest 

centre of trade in Bengal and supplanted 
the historic glory of Satgaon. It is unfortunate that ManriqueJ 
does not specify the date of the foundation of Hooghly by 
Tavares. It can, however, be determined within close approxi- 
mation from a consideration of contemporary writings. The 

* Ain-i-Akbari t Vol. I. p. 440. 

t Fr. F. de Souza, Orients Cong. Pt. II, Conq. I, Div. ii f § 44. 

I An excellent account of this Mission is given by Vincent Smith, 
AkbaVy p. 170 et seq. 



Akbarnama* records Tavares's visit to Akbar as occurring in 

1579 (23rd year of Akbar's reign) but if Fr. du Jarricf is 
correct in dating Fr. Juliano Pereira's arrival at Fatehpur 
Sikri in the year 1 578 then Tavares must have gone to the 
Court of Akbar in 1577, or 1 578 at the latest, since it was 
through his request that Fr. Pereira was called by Akbar. 
According to Fr. F. de SouzaJ, Tavares must have been 
in Agra even upto 1579 because be obtained a decree 
from the Emperor exempting the Portuguese of Bengal from 
all their dues upto 1 579. Now, it is certain that Tavares was in 
Bengal early in 1 580 because Fr. A. Monseratte§ relates that 
when the first Jesuit Mission arrived at Akbar's Court on 
February 18, 1580, they found there some of Tavares's men 
while no mention is made of Tavares. The confirmation of 
the fact is found in the Akbarnama|| which relates that in 

1580 Mirza Najat Khan Akbar's Faujdar at Satgaon being 
defeated by the king of Orissa, fled to Partab Bar (Pedro 
Tavares) at Hooghly. Hence it may be asserted that the 
settlement of Hooghly was established either towards the 
close of 1579 or in the earlier months of 1580. 

* Elliot, Akbarnama Vol. VI. p. 59. 

t Hist, Des. Choses plus Metnorables. 

% Oriente Conquistado Pt. II, Conq. I, Div. ii, § 44. 

§ Mongol. Leqat. Comment 20 <*. 3. Vide, Fr. Hosten's annotations 
to Manrique, Bengal Past and Present, April— June, 1916, Ch. V. 

|| Blochmann, Akbarnama I.e. Ain~i-Akbari % Vol. I. p. 440. 



The Portuguese settlement in Hooghly flourished with 
amazing rapidity. In 1580, about the same year that the settle- 
ment was made, the Portuguese influence 

Hooghly fj&o 

was so well established that according to 
the Akbarriama* Mirza Najat Khan, Akbar's Faujdar at 
Satgaon being defeated by the king of Orissa near Solimabadf 
fled to the Portuguese Governor at Hooghly for protection. 
Hooghly rose to be indeed "the richest, the most flourishing 
and the most populous" of all the Bandels that the Portuguese 
possessed in Bengal. As Fr. Cabral says, Hooghly became the 
common emporium of the vessels of India, China, Malacca and 
Manilla and a resort not only of a large number of the natives 
of the country but also of the Hindustanis (sic) the Mughals 
the Persians and the Armenians. Ralph Fitch who visited 
Hooghly in 1588 found the whole of the town in the hands of 
the Portuguese of whom he says it was the "chief keep." He 
adds the town was one league from Satgaon, and was called 
Porto Pequeno in contradistinction to their Porto Grande 
which they had in Chittagong. Within the next ten years 
the Portuguese authority extended even to Satgaon. The 
Ain-i-Akbari written in 1596- 1597 says that in the Sarkdr 
of Satgaon there were two ports (Hooghly and Satgaon) at a 
distance of half a kos from each other both of which were in 
possession of the Portuguese, Hooghly being the more impor- 
tant Besides the Portuguese, had bought lands and possess- 

* Cf. Blochmann Ain-i-Akbari, Vol. I. p. 44a 
f A town south-east of Burdwan on the left bank of the Damodar. 



ed villages on both sides of the river for a considerable dis- 
tance from their town of Hooghly. Manrique, describing 
his voyage to Hooghly in 1628 says* "...we entered the 
mouth of the large and far-famed old Ganges at a distance of 
Ganges sixty leagues from the City of Vgolim (Hooghly). As 
we were navigating 'al uzane' which in the Bengala and 
Industana languages means going against the current we found 
it a very tough and tedious piece of work inspite of the many 
villages and towns, some of them the private property of the 
Portuguese of Vgolim which were covering both banks of the 
river all the way up to Vgolim." Fr. Cabral asserts the Portu- 
guese did not confine themselves to the banks of the river 
but extended their settlement sixty leagues inland. The 
Portuguese population was fast increasing in Hooghly and 
so was the number of Christians who were converted by 
the Portuguese. The Augustinians built therefore in 1 599, 
the year when the East India Company was formed, their 
great Convent at Bandel which still exists though not as 
originally built and not even on the original site.f 

Towards the latter part of the sixteenth century, the 
greater part of the Bengal trade had passed into the hands 
of the Portuguese. Hooghly, Satgaon and Chittagong 
were not their only ports and settlements, but they had also 
Hljlli, Banja, Dacca and many other small ports. The extent 
of the Portuguese trade in Hooghly can be imagined from 
the fact that they paid over a 100,000 tangas or rupees as 
custom duties to the Mughals. For an account of the Portu- 
guese trade in Bengal a separate chapter will be devoted. 

The Portuguese were equally well thriving on the side of 
Chittagong and owned innumerable Bandels or Bunders on the 

* Manrique, Fr. Cardon's Trans. Bengal Past and Present April — 
June 1916 p. 284. 

f Fr. Hosten supposes the Convent stands on the same site as the old 
one. Cf A Week in Bandel Convent, Bengal Past and Present Jan. — 
Mar. 1914. The question will be discussed below. 


banks of the Ganges, of the Brahmaputra and of their various 
tributaries. In fact at this time more important events were 
occurring on the coast of Arakan and in the islands at the 
mouths of the Ganges than in Hooghly. In course of time 
the Portuguese of Hooghly became really independent of 
the Mughal Emperor in as much as they discontinued to pay 
the nominal tribute despite the remonstrations of the Mughal 
Governor. The Shah Jahannama* refers to the fact that the 
Portuguese had lands on both sides of the Hooghly and that 
they collected revenue from them. Even at the time when the 
Ain-i-Akbari was written (1596-97), Hooghly had supplanted 
the historic Satgaon, and both these ports were in the posses- 
sion of the Portuguese.! 

Two causes contributed to the decline of Satgaon. The 
first was that the Portuguese, when they settled in Hooghly, 

diverted all the trade to their own port to 
Satgaon Dedine ° f the detriment of Satgaon. The Mughal 

officers in Satgaon actually complained 
to the Emperor that on account of the Portuguese, the revenue 
of Satgaon was decreasing. The second cause was that the 
river Saraswati on which Satgaon was situated and through 
which flowed the main stream of the river Hooghly 
began silting up and was navigable only by smaller vessels. 
The Portuguese must have, indeed, chosen Hooghly for their 
settlement because they had noticed the main stream no longer 
flowing through the Saraswati. This is one of the few examples 
in which the waters of the Ganges have played fast and loose 
with the ambitions of man. The holy Ganges does indeed 
work changes in its water system but it is not like other rivers 
such as the Indus, on which throughout its course no great 
city has ever flourished because it shifts its bed so very 
frequently. Well may it be called the Holy Ganga. 

* Rev. Long, Portuguese in North India, Cal. Rev. Vol. V, June 1846. 
t Ain-i-Akbari, Jarret, Vol. II. p. 125. 

5 8 


The Rev. Long remarks* that in 1599 the Portuguese 
erected a fort of a square form, flanked by four bastions, sur- 
rounded by a ditch on three sides and on 

in Highly * * Fwt the fourth b y the Hooghly. This statement 

rests on no authority and it is one of the 
great many creations of his fancy. Each subsequent writer, 
probably relying upon him, has referred to the existence of 
the Portuguese fort in Hooghly, the remains of which are 
supposed to be the foundations of two walls that can be seen 
jutting out into the river at low tide.f The fact seems to 
be, however, that the Portuguese had not erected any fort in 
Hooghly.J No reference to it can be found in the Portuguese 
records. Ralph Fitch who was in Hooghly in 1686 makes 
no mention of a Portuguese fort and Van Linschoten (1593-97) 
distinctly says there was none.§ Most conclusive evidence is 
that of Manrique and Cabral who in their descriptions of the 
Siege of Hooghly regret that the Portuguese could not well 
defend themselves as they possessed no fort, having to content 
themselves with raising embankments and barricades, and 
converting their houses into citadels. It must be remarked 
Khan* Khan|| in his description of the siege asserts that the 
Portuguese defended themselves from a fort ; but throughout 
his account he enlarges upon the Bddshdknamdfh which records 
that the Portuguese erected substantial buildings (not forts) 
which they fortified with cannon, muskets and other imple- 

* Rev. Long, Portuguese in North India, ut supra. 
t O'Malley, Hooghly Gazetteer p. 272. 

X Fr. Hosten S. J. was the first to deny the existence of a Portuguese 
fort in Hooghly and to adduce evidence in support of it. Vide Bengal 
Past and Present, Jan. — Mar. 191 5, p. 80 et seq. 

% Van Linschoten is however open to doubt as he says the Portuguese 
had no Government in Hooghly and lived like wild men, which could not 
be true. 

U Elliot, Hist, of India, Vol. VII. p. 2|l. 

* Ibidem, pp. 31, 32. 

Portuguese In Bengal, 1919. 

[ To face- page 58. 



ments of war. It is not probable nor is there any evidence 
that the Portuguese built a fort after the Siege of Hooghly 
which took place in 1632. 

The Rev. Long and Toynbee* refer to the fact that in 1603 
Cervalius captured a Mughal fort with a garrison of 400 men 
all but one of whom were killed. This Cervalius was Domingo 
Carvalho who, as it will be seen, was the conqueror of the island 
of Sandwip. Fr. du Jarricf gives some details about this 
interesting event. Carvalho came to Hooghly from Sripur 
(Bakarganj district) in order to take reinforcements for the cap- 
ture of Sandwip. He found there were about 5000 inhabitants 
in the Portuguese colony and that the Moors wanted to make 
them pay new tributes. Seeing the increasing prosperity of the 
Portuguese, the Moors had built a fortress near Hooghly so 
as to check their progress and had placed there a garrison of 
400 Mughal soldiers. Whenever the Christians passed with their 
ships down the river, the Moors robbed them and even killed 
several of them inflicting indescribable cruelties. They tried 
to do the same with Carvalho when he was passing by their 
fortress with his thirty Jaleas% and began to discharge on 
him their arquebuzes. Carvalho jumped ashore with sixty 
Portuguese, and some seizing the gate of the fortress and 
others scaling its walls, they captured it and massacred the 
whole garrison excepting one Caffre who escaped through a 
channel. The further history of this fort, does not seem to 
exist in any records. Excepting this temporary hold on a 
Mughal fortress, the Portuguese cannot be said to have 
possessed a fort in Hooghly. 

It is much to be deprecated that no adequate account is left 

* Sketch of the Administration of the Hooghly District^ p. 4. 

t Cf. Fr du Jarric, Histoire des Choses plus Memorables^ Part IV., 
Liv. VI p. 86162. 

% Jalea was a vessel used both for trading and fighting purposes ; 
the word Jolly-boat is derived from it. Cf. Hobson-fobson s. v. Gallevat. 



of the Portuguese system of Government either in the official 

or individual writings. While so much 
m ^7ln^kiy° Vern ' ^ written about the Portuguese posses- 

sions in Western India, their doings in 
Bengal and the names of the chief actors have comparitively 
been consigned to oblivion. As to the names of the Portu- 
guese Governors or Captains in Hooghly the only three names 
that can be given are Pedro Tavares (1580) Miguel Rodri- 
gues (1623) and Manoel d' Azavedo (1632).* 

The two of the earliest accounts of the Portuguese of 
Hooghly, throwing incidentaly some light on how they govern- 
ed themselves, contain doubtful statements. Van Linschoten 
who travelled in India between 1583 and 1589, remarks in a 
brief description of the Portuguese of Chittagong and of 
Hooghlyf "The Portingalles deale and traffique thether, and 
some places are inhabited by them, as the havens which 
they call Porto Grande (Chittagong) and Porto Pequeno 
(Hooghly) that is the great haven and the little haven but 
there they have no Fortes nor any government, nor policie, 
as in India [they have] but live in a manner like wild men, 
and untamed horses, for that every man doth there what 

* In spite of repeated investigations I have not been able to find a 
list of the Portuguese Governors of Hooghly. Out of the three names 
given the first is mentioned on the authority of Manrique and others. As 
to Manoel d' Azavedo being Captain of the Portuguese of Hooghly we 
have the statement of Fr. Cabral, in his letter from Ceylon (1633) des- 
cribing the Seige of Hooghly. Though Miguel Rodrigues is mentioned 
by Stewart, in his History of Bengal, and by others who have repeated 
his statement, as the Governor of Hooghly when Shah J ah an fled to 
Bengal, yet there is considerable doubt about it. Stewart probably based 
his statement on Fr. Catrou's History of the Mogol Empire. But Man- 
rique calls Miguel Rodrigues Captain of the Portuguese in Dacca. Fr. 
Catrou's is not a sure evidence because he makes Miguel Rodrigues a 
Captain of the Portuguese in Hooghly even in 1632, which cannot be true 
according to Fr. Cabral. Yet I have included Rodrigues's name among 
the Portuguese Captains of Hooghly for if he was a Captain of the Portu- 
guese in Dacca he might have, at the same time, been Captain of those 
in Hooghly. 

f Van Linschoten, Hakl. Ed. Vol. I p. 95. 

fL 1 M\ M m M I LI1L.|I ■ | V JMVIj II | 111 lllUlla A V A Ul Vf UVj I L V W 111/ «V 

innnf f-Vi^i t- lixrtnrr 1iL-<3 tirilH m^n Pwrarn rf** T otroi wnrt 


hee will, and every man is Lord [and maister], neyther esteeme 
they anything of justice, whether there be any or none, and 
in this manner doe certayne Portingalles dwell among them 
some here, some there, [scattered abroade] and are for the 
most part such as dare not stay in India for some wicked- 
nesse by them committed ; notwithstanding there is great 
trafficke used in those part es by diverse ships [and marchants] 
which all the year divers times both go to and from all the 
Orientall ports." As Van Linschoten was in Bengal not more 
than five years after the Portuguese had settled in Hooghly 
it is probable they had no perfect system of government 
and that there were many abuses but this writer seems to 
have been in some points either misinformed about Hooghly 
or else he applies to Hooghly what he saw in Chittagong, just 
as a later traveller Pyrard de Laval did. If in 1580 there was 
a Portuguese governor in Hooghly to whom Mir Najat Khan 
fled for protection it is difficult to conceive how there could 
be no government at all only about five years after, especially 
since all evidence points to the fact that the Portuguese were 
flourishing rather than degenerating into "untamed horses". 
Ralph Fitch who was in Hooghly in 1588 saw a great town 
in the possession of the Portuguese and has nothing to say 



clergy in Hooghly in 1607 is quite erroneous. As will be 
seen, the religious orders, Jesuits and the Augustinians, had 
erected in Hooghly many churches and undoubtedly there 
were priests in the great Augustinian convent built in 1 599, 
which after being destroyed and re-built many times, still 
exists in Bandel. 

Manrique who was in Hooghly in its palmiest days, de- 
votes many pages to quite insignificant matters but as to the 
system of government or its officials he has scarcely to say 
anything beyond mentioning that "there was a government 
which did not think it fit to send an embassy to Shah Jahan on 
his ascending the throne."* Fr. Cabral, however, gives some 
information, about how the Portuguese governed themselves 
in Hooghly .f He says the Portuguese enjoyed absolute inde- 
pendence, the Mughals being content with merely collecting 
custom duties and market dues. This is a fact which Shah 
Jahannama confirms. Not even the Emperor's Guazil could 
enter the Portuguese town except with the consent of the 
Portuguese and the Mughal ships had to submit themselves 
to many regulations which the Portuguese enforced in their 
port The Portuguese government was under a Captain 
Convidor and four assistants annually elected by the citizens. 
This Captain was obeyed by common folk and even by the 
gentry of the place. It is worthy of remark that Fr. Cabral 
says that it was the King of Portugal who had these officials in 
Hooghly showing that the Portuguese of Hooghly were loyal 
to the crown. The reason why Manrique, Cabral and other 
Portuguese who were in Hooghly have not left any detailed 
description of the system of government was probably because 

* Manrique's, Itinerario y Fr. Hosten's Trans, of the Siege of Hooghly, 
in Catholic Herald of India, Calcutta, Vol. XVI, April, 17th 191 8 and 
succeeding Nos. 

t Fr. Joao Cabral's Letter from Ceylon, dated 14th Nov. 1633. Vide 
Fr. Besse's Trans. Catholic Herald, ut supra. Jan. 30th 1918 and 
succeeding Nos. 


it was the same as in the other Portuguese possessions, with 
only some modifications to suit the conditions of the country. 

Mannuci who was in Hooghly about 1660, does not also 
refer in his Sloria do Mogor to any Portuguese officials though 
he has a lot to say about opulent Portuguese merchants. It 
cannot be said that after the Siege of Hooghly in 1632 the 
Portuguese were mere traders without any officials or respon- 
sibilities. In the Diaries of Streynsham Master appears a 
deed, in the Portuguese language, enacted and signed by a 
Portuguese public notary named Antonio Gil de Brito in the 
year 1 657.* In Bandel some tenants of the Augustinian Convent 
still possess deeds and documents in Portuguese, signed by 
public notaries at a comparatively recent date.f 

The Portuguese in Hooghly were under the authority of 
the Ceylon government and not directly under the Portuguese 
Viceroy in Goa as communication with the latter place was 
only possible by sea and involved considerable delay. In a 
large measure the Portuguese managed their affairs independ- 
ently, but they never shook off the authority of the Portuguese 
Viceroy who from time to time communicated to the King of 
Portugal the state of affairs in the Portuguese possession of 
Ugolim (Hooghly). 

It is commonly supposed that the word Hooghly is derived 
from hogla, {typka elephantina) the name for the tall reeds grow- 
ing in abundance on the banks of the river. This derivation 

* Diaries Temple's Edition Vol. II p. 62. "I Antonio Gil (not Gonsalvez 
as Temple has) de Brito, notary public of deeds for his Majesty in this 
Bandel of Nossa Senhora de Guadelupe of Xahabad, certify that the 
signature above Gaspar de Breu is that of the said Gaspar de Breu, 
a Portuguese. I assured myself that the said Gaspar de Breu was his 
signature, in faith of which I have enacted this at present, signed by me 
with my public signature which is as follows. 

To-day, 3rd Oct* i657j He paid for this half a ianga. n 

t One deed, dated 22nd Sept 1794 is signed by Thomas de Faria, 
Escrivdo Publico das notas cTesta Villa de Bandel. and another, dated 
2 1 st Oct. 1824 is signed by Joao Lobo, Escrivdo e Notario. 


6 4 


first proposed by H. Blochmann,* does not seem to be true. 

Derivation tf *Hcc g hiy ^ ***** WhicH alW * yS gF6W °" the 

river banks cannot alone account for a 

remarkable change of the name of the river from Bhaghirathi 

or Ganges into Hooghly towards the end of the sixteenth 

century. The river acquired its name from the town of 

Hooghly which the Portuguese founded about 1580. Before 

this date Hooghly did not exist in name. The Chandi written 

in 1577 makes no mention of it though it refers to places 

close to it and opposite to it such as Harishar and Gouripur 

(Gorifa). O'MalJey says f that Hooghly is mentioned in a 

Bengali poem dated 1495 but the reference which he 

gives, has no word about Hooghly and deals about quite 

different matters. The Portuguese obviously originated the 

name. The earliest mention of the word is in Ralph Fitch 

who in 1588 spells it Hugeli. Two years later we find in Fr. 

Monseratte's map the town marked Goli. The Ain-i-Akbari 

(1596-97) has Hugli. As to the Portuguese historians, 

de Barros, Correa and Castanheda do not refer at all to 

Hooghly as their histories cover an earlier period than 

1550, while Hooghly came into existence about 30 years later. 

Fr. Fernandes (1599) has Gullum or Gullo. Bocarro (161 2-17) 

has D'Ogolim, Golim, Dogolim and Faria y Souza speaking 

about the Siege of Hooghly has Golim. Other forms are 

Golly e (Hughes and Parker 1620) ; U golim (Manrique, 1628) ; 

Ugoli (De Laet, 1630) ; Oegli or hoegli (Van den Broucke 1660); 

Ogouli (Bernier, 1665). Towards the end of the seventeenth 

century and after, hughly, hooghly began to be adopted. 

It is very interesting to know whence arose the designation 

Hooghly, As already said it is not likely to be derived 

from the hogla alone, as it was not the river that was called 

* Blochmann, J. A. S. B. 1873, p. 217 n. 
t Hooghly Gazetteer p. 48. 


Hooghly first but the town, where, as far as the Portuguese 
were concerned, the hogla reeds were not of any importance. 
Besides hogla reeds are to be found all over the banks of the 
river and not confined to the town of Hooghly. As Fr. 
Hosten suggests* the Portuguese might have named their 
settlement from the large amount of golas (store-houses) 
which they erected on the banks of the river. Fr. Hosten 
is not well inclined to adopt this derivation and raises many 
doubts. It has also been suggested that Hooghly is derived 
from Gal or Goli (Beng,) meaning a narrow passage, though 
there is nothing definite to justify such a conjecture. After 
all, the explanations suggested, resolve into attempting to suit 
facts to the theory. Whether Hooghly is derived from hoglas 
or golas, one thing certain at the present stage of historical 
research is that the name was originated by the Portuguese. 
Most probably both the words explain the origin of the name 
Hooghly, as the golas must have been covered with thatches of 
hoglas, as it is done even to this day. 

* Bengal Past and Present, Jan.-Mar. 1915, A week at the Bandel 
Convent, pp. 89-91. 



From the earliest times Chittagong was the greatest 
harbour of Bengal, as already stated, and it continued to be 

Chittagottg ij37 801 as *° n ^ aS ^ ^ ar "^ ame ^ Gaur remained 
» r0 y a j ca p}tal of Bengal, and one of the 

queens of Eastern cities.* All the early Portuguese captains 

Joao Silveira, Affonso de Mello and others, sailed up to 

Chittagong and stoutly braved the vicissitudes that the 

Bengal rulers subjected them to, until Mahmud Shah, in 

consideration of the help rendered him by the Portuguese, 

granted them in 1537 their settlement of Chittagong with a 

custom-house, and land and houses with powers to collect 

rentf Unlike the one in Satgaon, the settlement of 

Chittagong grew into a great centre of trade. Nuno Fernandes 

Freire who was appointed chief of the custom-house exercised 

vast powers in Chittagong and was asked to decide the 

quarrels between the Moorish Governors who did not fully 

acknowledge the authority of the King of Bengal. 

* Camoes thus speaks of Chittagong, Lusiadas % Canto X, St, cxxi. 

, Vi Cathigdo, cidade das melhores 
De Bengal^ provincia que sepreza 
De abundante ; mas olka que estd posia 
Para o Austro d'aqui virada a costa. 

See Cathigam, amid the highest high 

In Bengal province, proud of varied store 

Abundant, but behold how placed the Post 

Where sweeps the shore-line towards the southing Coast. 

Burton's. Tr<ms K 

t Vide Chapter IV; also Castanheda Mst. Liv. VHJ» Chap. 
CXXVIII. p. 303. 


Towards the last two decades of the sixteenth century, 
when the Portuguese settlement in Satgaon was flourishing 

so well and the Portuguese were in high 

tfcS&SLi**** favour with Akb * r a " d Jahangir, the 

Chittagong settlement was equally well 
progressing. The Mughal authority had not, however, yet 
extended to Chittagong side. The King of Arakan who held 
it, was favourably disposed towards the Portuguese. The 
Portuguese, it appears, had a skirmish with him and one Antonio 
de Souza Godinho about 1 590 had captured by force of arms 
the fort of Chittagong and made the island of Sandwip 
tributary to it* But a reconciliation had taken place and the 
King was, in fact, permitting the Portuguese to build other 
forts in his kingdom, which the King of Portugal found were 
not quite necessary and difficult to maintain. The Portuguese 
and the King of Portugal spoke at this time in glowing terms 
of their settlement of Chittagong. 

Though Antonio de Souza Godinho had made the Sandwip 
Island tributary to the Portuguese Settlement of Chittagong 

it did not come completely in the posses- 

Sanawfp, 1002 

sion of the Portuguese until 1602, when 
Domingo Carvalho and Manoel de Mattos captured it from 
the Mughals who had deprived Kedar Rai (Cedarai) from fts 
possession. The details of this conquest have not been given 
by the Portuguese historians but fortunately much information 
about the feats of the Portuguese in Sandwip is found in 
Fr. Nicolau Pimenta, and Fr. Du Jarric. This island, where 
two hundred ships were annually laden with salt and which, in- 
deed^ according to Fr. Du Jarric supplied the whole of Bengal 
with salt, belonged to the famous Kedar Rat, one of the tradi- 

* Arehivo Poriuguez Oriental^ Fasciculo III p. 257, King's letter, 1 2th 
January 1591, li is surprizing that the letters in Fr. Pimenta do not refer 
to this event which had occurred only eight years before thex were written. 

Saadwto is. a big, bland at the mouth of the Ganges in the district 
of Noakhali. According to Faria y Souza it is 70 leagues in length. 



tional heroes of Bengal. The Mughals, however, after their 
conquest of Bengal deprived him of this possession. The 
Portuguese who for long had an eye on this rich island took 
advantage of this situation and under Domingo Carvalho, one 
of the most valliant Portuguese in Bengal or even in India, 
attacked and captured the fortress of Sandwip in 1602.* But 
the inhabitants of Sandwip {naturels du pais) having risen 
against the Portuguese, Carvalho appealed to the Portuguese 
of Chittagong.for help. Manoel de Mattos who was captain 
of the Portuguese in Dianga came to succour Carvalho with 
400 men and put the enemy to rout. This victory placed 
Sandwip completely in the hands of Carvalho and Mattos 
who divided it between them. Fr. Du Jarric mentions that 
Carvalho was born in Montargil (Portugal) and was previously 
in the service of Kedar Rai. 

Though Domingo Carvalho and Manoel de Mattos were 
jointly governing the island, the former wrote to the Portu- 
guese King that they held authority under the crown of 
Portugal. In recognition of their brilliant services the King of 
Portugal created Carvalho and Mattos Fidalgos da Casa Real 
(i.e. nobles) and bestowed on them the Order of Christf 

The King of Arakan who had many Portuguese in his 
kingdom, was highly enraged at their conquest of Sandwip, and 
Battles with the King apprehended that as they were becoming 
*f Arakan. verv powerful especially in Siriam (Pegu), % 

• This account is based on Fr. Du Jarric's Histoire des Chose plus 
Memorable* etc. Part IV. Chap. XXXII & XXXI 1 1. The passage referring 

to Kedar Rat has been mistranslated by Nikhil Nath Roy in his stWtfasj I 
It runs : " Ceste Isle appartenoit de droiet d un des Roys de Bengala, 
qu'on appelle Cadaray : mats il y auoit plusieurs annies qtiil tien 
jouissoit pasd cause que les Mogores s'en estoient emparez par force. 
Or qudd tl sceut que les Portugais s'en estoient saisis, comme nous dirons 
Men tost, il la leur donna de fort bonne volunte renoncant en leur 
faveur a torn les droieis qu il y pouuoit pretendre." Vide op. cit. p. 848. 

f Doc. Hem. Tom. I. p. 25. 

X Pbayre identifies Siriam with Thanhlyin. Cf. History of Burma, 
p. ia4. ' 


where they had built a fortress, they might prove a source of 
danger to his Kingdom. He prepared, therefore, a fleet con- 
sisting of hundred and fifty jaleas, caturs,* and other larger 
vessels well equipped and armed with guns and canon. Kedar 
Rai also joined the king of Arakan and sent hundred cosses\ 
from Sripur to help him in the attack. The Portuguese of 
Dianga and Caranja having got scent of the impending attack 
took to their ships and sailed off with all their goods since 
they could not face the enemy's enormous forces. Those of 
Chittagong also began to escape with their most precious 
things doubting the intentions of the King (sic) of Chittagong 
who was the uncle of the King of Arakan and who outwardly 
pretended to be a great friend of the Portuguese. On the 8th 
of November 1602, the Arakan fleet appeared in the port of 
Dianga where Manoel de Mattos was in a foist, with many other 
Portuguese in their jaleas, which being badly equipped, drew 
in the rear. The foist of Mattos bore the brunt of the attack 
in which many Arakanese were killed. Only one Portuguese 
was killed and seven were wounded of whom Mattos himself 
was one. The Arakanese captured four Portuguese vessels 
and in honour of their victory they drank and feasted in the 
wildest joy. 

Two days after, things changed, as Domingo Carvalho 
came with relief from Sandwip. He and Mattos got up fifty 
vessels among which were two foists, four caturs, three barques, 
the rest being jaleas. With this fleet they set out early in the 
morning and made a surprise attack on the enemy's ships 
with such fury and violence that they were completely routed. 
They became masters of all the Arakanese ships to the 

* Caturs were light rowing vessels, 60 to 80 ft. long, used in sea-fights, 
the word is probably the origin of the English marine term cutter, 
Cf. Hobson-Johnson S. V. Catur. 

f Cosses were light boats suitable for fighting on the rivers and 
not at sea. 

76 PORtfuatifeSE IN BfctfGAL 

number of hundred and forty nine, with all the ammunition, 
arquebuzes, muskets and other Implements of war. Many 
Arakartese lost their lives in this engagement, notably th6 
uncle of the King of Arakan, named Sinabadi. Some escaped 
by jumping into the sea and swimming across to land. 

When the news of the Portuguese victory reached Chitta- 
gong, all were panic-stricken. The people thinking that the 
Portuguese' would march on the city began to run away 
carrying their valuable things on their shoulders and the 
Queen herself mounted on an elephant took to flight. The 
Portuguese, however, did not follow up their victory, though 
they could have easily taken possession of the fort of Chitta- 
gong as there was nobody to defend it. 

The King of Arakan, though humbled in his pride at sea 
revenged himself on the Portuguese who were on land in his 
kingdom. He sacked their houses which they owned in many 
Bandels {bunders) on the river and imprisoned men, Women 
and children in his fortress and subjected them to many 
cruelties. He, however, set to liberty the women on the day 
following their imprisonment The Portuguese missionaries, 
Jesuits and Dominicans, who had come to Bengal in I 598 and 
1 599 and were carrying on very successful work also suffered 
immensely.* A treaty was, however, concluded by the Portu- 
guese with the King of Arakan, and peace was restored for 
a time. According to the chronicles of the Dominicans the 
King of Arakan actually offered to rebuild at his own expense 
the church and the residence of the Dominicans which he had 
destroyed and requested them to stay in his kingdomf 

The Portuguese Were now becoming very powerful irt 
Eastern Bengal and Burma. Fillipe de Brito e Nicote had 

established a kingdom in Pegu and made treaties with the* 

-)--•■ ... 

• Vide Chapter IX. 

t Frey Luis de Gacegas, tiistotid de San Domingos, 1^67, Vol. III. 
Liv. V. Ch. XI. 


kings of Tangu, Siam and Proem. After the conquest of 
Sandwlp the Portuguese conceived the grand project of 
holding the whole of the Eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal 
with Chittagong and Pegu as bases. Purchas remarks* the 
Portuguese feats were of great consequence for "here they (the 
Portuguese) might both build their Fleets, and be furnished 
of sustenance, might send at any time to all places in the South 
(which from Goa cannot be done but with the Monsons) and 
might cause that no ship of Moores should lade Pepper 
Cinamon or other commodities at Martavan, Reitav, Juncalao, 
Tanassarin and Queda, for Surat or Mecca, but with custome 
to them and passe from them." 

The King of Arakan, dreading the Portuguese might oust 
him from his kingdom, decided to attack Sandwip a second 

Second attack on Sand- time and sent an enormous fleet of a 
wl P thousand sail consisting of "the most 

Frigates, some greater, Catures and Cosses" against Carvalho. 
Again were the Portuguese victorious. The gallant Carvalho 
with only sixteen vessels destroyed the whole fleet of the 
Arakan King. Nearly two thousand Arakanese were killed 
and a hundred and thirty of their ships were destroyed, while the 
Portuguese lost only six men. This signal defeat enraged 
the King of Arakan beyond measure. He punished his cap- 
tains by forcing them to put on women's clothes as they 
behaved so effeminately that they could not bring one Portu- 
guese alive or dead.f 

Though the Portuguese had won a brilliant victory their 
ships were badly damaged. Carvalho soon found out that he 
could not withstand another attack of the King of Arakan 
whose resources Were unlimited. The Portuguese with the 
native converts of the place, therefore, evacuated Sandwip 
and transported all their possessions to Sripur, Bakla and 

* Purchas, His Pilgrimage^ Book V., Chap. vi M p. 582. 
t Du Jarric, Hisloire t Part IV., p. 860. 



Chandecan, whereupon the King of Arakan at last became 
master of it. Carvalho curiously enough stayed with thirty 
frigates in Sripur which was the seat of Kedar Rai. The Jesuit 
Father Blasio Nunes and three others who had begun build- 
ing a church and a residence in Sandwip abandoned their new 
ventures and repaired to their residence at Chandecan which 
was the only one left to them, all the others having been 

Even in Sripur Carvalho was not destined to be left 

undisturbed. The Mughals who were extending their power 

„, „ all over Bengal and Arakan sent against 

The Career of Carvalho Tr , _ . Jf r , , , & . 

Kedar Rai a fleet of hundred cosses under 

one Mandarai with a view ■ to capture Sripur. The Mughal 

captain find Carvalho in Sripur directed his fleet against 

him. Carvalho had only thirty jaleas under him. But he 

who with sixteen vessels had defeated the King of Arakan's 

fleet of a thousand vessels could never hesitate to stand against 

only a hundred vessels of the Mughals. Not long after he 

engaged the Mughal fleet, he worked its destruction and even 

slew Mandarai who is described as " a very valiant man and 

very famous all over Bengal." Carvalho himself was wounded 

but he soon recovered and determined to embark on new 


The re-capture of Sandwip never ceased to haunt the 
dreams of Carvalho. As the Portuguese were very powerful in 
Hooghly, he personally went there in order to bring rein- 
forcements for the execution of his plans. In Hooghly, still 
more stirring events were in store for him. He found that the 
Mughals gave the Portuguese a lot of trouble, demanding from 
them new tributes and imposts, and that in order to check their 
growing power they had built close to the Portuguese town of 
Hooghly a fortress garrisoned by four hundred soldiers. From 
this fortress the Mughals came down upon the Indian-born 
Christians when they passed by and inflicted on them untold 


cruelties. "Wishing therefore" adds Fr. Du Jarric,* " to do the 
same with Domingo Carvalho when he was passing by their 
fortress with his thirty Jaleas, those who were inside began 
to discharge on him many arquebuzes. Carvalho, unable to 
tolerate such an affront, promptly jumped ashore with eighty 
Portuguese soldiers, and at first seized the fortress, while 
others scaled the walls. Entering inside the fortress they 
made such a slaughter that of the four hundred soldiers who 
were there only one a Caffre escaped through a channel." 

The victories of Carvalho won for him a legendary reputa- 
tion in Bengal and Arakan. His name was so much dreaded 
that one of the Arakanese commanders who had fifty ships 
under him, having dreamt one night that he was assaulted by 
Carvalho he " terrified his fellowes and made them flie into 
the river ; which when the king heard cost him his head." 
The grand career of Carvalho was brought to a tragic end by 
the cruel and treacherous king of Chandecan, who was, accord- 
ing to Beveridge,t no other than Raja Pratapaditya, the great 
hero of Bengal. This unscrupulous chieftain desired to make 
friends with the King of Arakan who after taking possession of 
Sandwlp and conquering the kingdom of Bakla had become 
considerably powerful, and menaced the kingdom of Chande- 
can. As he knew that nothing would please the King of 
Arakan more than the death of Carvalho, he invited the latter 
to his court in Chandecan and had him treacherously murdered. 
The King of Arakan, indeed, prized the head of Carvalho more 
than Sandwlp. Not long after, Raja Pratapaditya, a cruel 
monster as Beveridge calls him, expiated his crimes in an iron 
cage in which he died. 

The identification of the exact sites of the Portuguese 
Settlements offers many difficulties. Old Chittagong or 

* Du Jarric, Histoire, Part IV n p. 862. 
t The District of Bakarganj Chap. V. 


Ckatigam of the Portuguese writers was according to de 

Barros's map (1540), Bleav's map (1650), 
t^sfllmLnJ 0 "' Broucke's map (1660) and other old maps, 

on the northern bank of the Karnaphuli 
river almost at its mouth. It is not the same, therefore, as 
the modern town of Chittagong which is situated ten and half 
miles to the east of the mouth of the Karnaphuli. Strangely 
enough in 1598 Van Linschoten* assigned to Chittagong a 
position fifty miles eastward from the mouth of the Karnaphuli. 
The first Portuguese settlement, founded by Affonso de Mello 
in 1537, was obviously in the real Chatigam as marked by de 
Barros in his map. There is no trace left of the Portuguese 
factory, their custom-house and their "circuit of houses". But 
the relics of their later establishments still survive. 

O'Malleyt refers to the remains of a Portuguese fort close 
to Pahartali which is two miles from the civil station of 
Chittagong and adds that according to tradition the Portuguese 
bucaneers buried their treasures in this fort. According to the 
Portuguese records % the Portuguese possessed a fort in Chitta- 
gong before 1590 but it was rather in the port of Chittagong 
than close to Pahartali. If it is true that the Portuguese 
bucaneers buried their treasures in the Pahartali fort, it must 
have come into their possession after 16 15, after which date 
they constituted themselves into a piratical power and settled 
in Dianga with the sanction of the King of Arakan. Yet 
Manrique does not refer to any Portuguese fort between 
1 62 1 and 1635 in Chittagong or Arakan. Fr. du Jarric§ men- 
tions that in 1602 the Portuguese under Carvalho and Mattos 
could have easily taken possession of the fort of Chittagong, 

* Linschoten, Hakl. Ed. Vol. I p. 94. "From this River Eastward 50 
miles lyeth the towne of Chatigam which is the chief town of Bengala,' 

f Chittagong Gazetteer, p. 176. 

% Arch* Port. Orient., Fasc. ///, p. 357. 

§ Histoire des Choscs plus Memorables, Part IV., p. 851. 


which seems to have been close to the mouth of the Karna- 
phuli. It is this fort on which the Portuguese must have had 
a temporary hold about 1 590. The King of Chittagong was 
in fact willing to allow the Portuguese to build more fortresses 
but the King of Portugal in his letter to the Viceroy dated 
1 2th January 1591 did not consider them necessary. "And 
thus I am told", the letter runs* "that Antonio de Souza 
Godinho has served me well in Bemgualla and has made 
the Island of Sundiva (Sandwip) tributary to this State, and 
that he gained the fort of Chatiguao (Chittagong) by force 
of arms and that the King is making some offers (permitting 
the Portuguese) to build fortresses in his country. Because 
new fortresses when they are not quite necessary are useless 
and quite inconvenient to this State in which it behoves to 
have more garrisons to increase and preserve, than extra forts 
to guard and thus divert the forces of the same State, I do not 
consider it proper that the offers of this King should be 
accepted and it will be enough to maintain with him good 
friendship." Little did the King know that if the Portuguese 
had erected forts in Chittagong and Arakan they might have 
defied the King of Arakan on land as they defied his fleets at 
sea, in the constant struggles that arose in the next few years. 

In the literature of the sixteenth and the seventeenth cen- 
turies and especially in the Portuguese writers, there are 

frequent references to a "City of Bengala," 
'Cidade de Bengal** J ** 

which is generally supposed to have been 
Chittagong. Varthemaf as early as 15 10 speaks of taking 
his route to this City of Bengala though according to Garcia 
de Orta,} he never came to Bengal. Duarte de Barbosa, who 
was one of the earliest Portuguese to write a geographical 

* Arch. Port. Orient^ ut supra. 

t L. de Varthema, Travels* Hakl. Ed. p. 210. 

% Garcia de Orta, Colloquies p. 30. 



account of the African and Indian coasts says * " this 

sea (Bay of Bengal) is a gulf which enters towards the north 
and at its inner extremity there is a very great city inhabited 
by Moors which is called Bengala, with a very a good harbour." 
Lord Stanley of Alderly understands this city of Bengala to 
have been Chittagong and in a note says that where Ortelius 
places Bengala, Hommanus places Chatigam, or Chittagong. 
Considering a chart of 1743 in Dalrymple Chittagong, as Yule 
remarks,t seems to have been the City of Bengala. OvingtonJ 
in giving the boundaries of the kingdom of Arakan remarks 
" Teixeira and generally the Portuguese writers reckon that 
(Chatigam) as a city of Bengala ; and not only so, but place the 
city of Bengala itself upon the same coast, more south than 
Chatigam? From this quotation, Fr. Hosten concludes§ that 
the City of Bengala was Dianga, which is opposite Chittagong 
on the southern bank of the river Karnaphuli ; and adds that 
Dianga was the first Portuguese Settlement in the Gulf of 
Bengal and that it was called Porto Grande. That the first 
Portuguese settlements in Bengal were Satgaon and Chitta- 
gong has been already shown. In the Gulf of Bengal, 
however PiplI (Orissa) was the earliest settlement, being 
founded in 1514.H To say that Dianga was called Porto 
Grande is to give it undue importance. The name Dianga 
does not occur except at the beginning of the seventeenth 
centurylf while Chatigam the real Porto Grande where the 
Portuguese settled, and the City of Bengala were referred 

* The Coasts of East Africa and Malabar, Hakl. Ed. p. 178-9. 
\ Hobson-Jobson s. v. Bengal. 
% A Voyage to Suratt, p. 554. 

§ Bengal Past and Present 19 16, Vol. XIII No. 25, p. 128. 
|| See Chapter VHL 

% The earliest mention of Dianga I have found is in Fr. Fernandes's 
letter dated 22nd December 1599. Vide, Pimenta, or Du Jarric Hist. 
Part IV, p. 828. 



to early in the sixteenth century. De Barros marks Chatigam 
in his map (1540) but neither Dianga nor the City of Bengala. 
Ovington, it must be remarked, reckons Chatigam or Chitta- 
gong as the City of Bengala and not Dianga though he says 
the Portuguese writers place the City of Bengala more south 
than Chittagong. Fr. Fernandes* in his letter written from 
Dianga on 22nd December 1 599 calls Dianga a town (ville) in 
the Port of Chittagong. It was at about this time that it began 
to acquire some importance. Besides Dianga could not be 
the City of Bengala as it really formed a part of the Kingdom 
of Arakan. 

In Blaev's map, which is not generally accurate, the City 
of Bengala is placed on the southern bank of the Karnaphuli 
more or less where Van den Broucke places Dianga. Vignola 
in a map of 1683 assigns the same position to the City of 
Bengala. But in an old Portuguese map in Thevenotf the City 
of Bengala is placed above Xatigam (Chittagong) or probably 
it is meant to be Chittagong itself. Without at all enquiring 
into the relative accuracy of these maps it may be safely 
asserted that all evidence points to the conclusion that Chitta- 
gong was the real City of Bengala, spoken of by the early 
writers. As Chittagong was the Great Port of Bengala it was 
more likely the Great City of Bengala. The Arabs and later 
on the Portuguese generally named a foreign important city or 
a seaport after the country in which it was situated. 

Dianga is now known as Bunder or Feringhi Bunder. 
The word Dianga still survives as Dicing Pahar which is the 

name of a low ridge of red rock running 
dZ% Seitkment of along the last three miles of the southern 

bank of the Karnaphuli. The Portuguese 
who had established themselves in Chittagong extended their 
activities to Dianga towards the end of the sixteenth century. 

* Du Jarric, ut supra. 

t Thevenot, Voyages Curieux, Vol. 1, Map facing p. 128. 



In the above mentioned letter, Fr. Fernandes referred to a 
great number of Portuguese of Dianga, who made their con- 
fessions. The captain of the Portuguese Dianga and of 
Chittagong was Manoel de Mattos. The King of Arakan 
owned both these ports at this time and in the letters-patent 
granted to the Portuguese Fathers he styled himself "the 
highest and the most powerful King of Arakan, of Tippera, of 
Chacomas, and of Bengala ; Lord of the Kingdoms of Pegu 
etc ."* Fr. du Jarric though mentioning that Chittagong was 
subject to the King of Arakan says that the latter's uncle was 
King of Chittagong, probably meaning thereby that he was 
Governor of Chittagong. The King of Arakan was well dis- 
posed towards the Portuguese of Dianga and Chittagong until 
in 1602 he fell out with the Portuguese over their conquest of 
Sandwlp. A Portuguese map in Thevenot marks many houses 
and a Church in the locality of Dianga though this place is 
not mentioned. In 1607 there were six hundred Portuguese in 
Dianga who were put to the sword by the King of Arakan in 
a general massacre. The Portuguese settled in Dianga again 
after 1615 when the King of Arakan took the Portuguese 
adventurers in his service and with their conjoined efforts 
brought to a culmination an age of plunder and piracy. Till 
then the Portuguese of Dianga and Chittagong were loyal 
subjects of the crown of Portugal. 

The circumstances that led to the massacre of Dianga 
belong more to the history of Pegu than of Bengal. Filippe 

de Brito e Nicote was a Portuguese settled 
matf** de BrU ° ' in Peg"* who with his men helped the King 

of Arakan, Salim Shah {Xilitnixaft in his 
battles with the King of Tangu and actually defeated the 
latter conquering the castle of Mecao. In recognition of his 

* Du Jarric, Histoire Part IV., p. 830. 

t Salim Shah was the Muhammadan name of King Mens Raiagyi, 
(1593-1612). 6 J 67 ' 



services, Salim Shah conceded to Brito e Nicote* the title 
of Changa (the good man) and granted to the Portuguese 
the port of Siriam in Pegu. Encouraged by success, Brito e 
Nicote returned to Goa to consult with the Viceroy D. Ayres 
de Saldanha how to carry into effect his plan of conquering 
the whole of Pegu. He was received with great joy and even- 
tually obtained the Order of Christ and was made Fidalgo da 
Casa Real (Noble). The Viceroy gave his niece in marriage to 
Brito e Nicote and conferred upon him the title of Commander 
of Siriam and General of the Conquests of Pegu. Meanwhile 
the King of Arakan finding that the Portuguese were 
fortifying themselves in Siriam, sent his captain Banadola 
with a large fleet and 6000 men against them, but he was 
routed by the brave Salvador Ribeiro de Souza, who was 
in command of the Portuguese. Three more attacks with 
enormous forces were withstood by Salvador Ribeiro de 
Souza, who with an epic gallantry would not surrender even 
after a siege of eight months. Help at last arrived from 
Goa, with which Salvador Ribeiro de Souza inflicted a 
crushing defeat on the whole of the fleet and army of Salim 
Shah. Soon after, he gained another victory over the King of 
Massinga, drove him away from his kingdom, and was hailed 
by the people as the King of Massinga. Such was the high 
renown won by the Portuguese that they could easily 
command the services of twenty thousand natives of the place. 

Brito e Nicote having returned from Goa, Salvador Ribeiro 
offered the crown of Massinga to him, who accepted it in the 
name of the King of Portugal. Salim Shah astonished at 
the success of the Portuguese hastened to make friends 
with them, and the Kings of Tangu and Martaban entered 
into an alliance with Nicote. While Brito e Nicote was rising 
on the tide of fortune Salvador Ribeiro, the real hero of 

♦ This brief account of Brito e Nicote is based on Bocarro, Decada 
XIII ; Faria y Souza, Asia ; and Documents Remettidos. 



the exploits returned to Portugal and died a poor man. In 
the letter of 12th September 1608, addressed to the Viceroy at 
Goa, the King of Portugal accepted the crown of Pegu.* 

Brito e Nicote now formed the plan of taking possession 
of Dianga and as he exercised a great influence over the King of 

Arakan he sent his son with a fleet asking 

Dimga, if£ SaCre ° f him to S rant him that P° rt The Kin S 

suspecting that Brito e Nicote wished to 

deprive him of the whole of his kingdom invited Brito e Nicote's 

son and his men to his court and put them all to the sword. 

A general massacre of the Portuguese in the kingdom was 

ordered and about six hundred Portuguese who were peacefully 

residing in Dianga were murdered in cold blood. From this 

massacre about ten Portuguese escaped with their ships and 

one of them was Sebastiao Gonsalves Tibau who was 

destined not only to revenge the grim massacre but also to 

play an important part in the history of Bengal. 

• Arch Port Orient. Fasc, VI. p. 975. 



The history of the original Portuguese who settled in 
Chittagong and who were directly under the authority of the 

Portuguese Governor in Goa, is closely 

T?ba£lfos-o7° maIV€S associated with the histor y of another sec- 
tion of the Portuguese who shook off the 
authority of the Governor and beginning life as adventurers 
eventually became so powerful as to establish an indepen- 
dent kingdom. The hero among these adventurers was 
Sebastiao Gonsalves Tibau, a Portuguese of an obscure extrac- 
tion born in Santo Antonio de Tojal.* He arrived in India in 
1605 and having come to Bengal soon exchanged the profession 
of a soldier for that of a trader. He purchased a vessel of his 
own and filling it with salt went to Dianga at such an inoppor- 
tune time that but for his cunning and bravery he would have 
perished in the general massacre of the Portuguese which the 
King of Arakan had ordered in 1607. He with nine or ten 
other Portuguese who had escaped with their ships, settled in 
the small islands at the mouth of the Ganges and sought the 
means of life in piracy. To revenge on the King of Arakan 
they ravaged his coast and carried off the booty to the King of 
Bakla's (Bacala)f ports, who was a friend of the Portuguese. 
With the massacre of Dianga, an era of piracy had dawned 
— piracy that led by the Arakanese, was to assume frightful 

* The feats of Gonsalves are generally known through Stevens's 
Translation of Faria y Souza, Vol. 111. p. 154, et seg. Bocarro, however, 
has a more detailed account in, Decada XIII, Chapters, 97—101. 

t The Kingdom of Bakla included a large portion of the B&karganj 
district and a part of Dacca ; it was ruled by one of the Bhuyas of 



It was mentioned that Manoel de Mattos was in sole pos- 
session of the island of Sandwip since Domingo Carvalho had 

died in or about 1605. Wishing to absent 
mtS?? P% FurtAer himsell for some time, Manoel de Mattos 

entrusted the government of the island 
to Fateh Khan, a Muhammadan in the Portuguese employ * 
But this man learning that Manoel de Mattos had died 
proved treacherous and took possession of the Portuguese 
vessels. He murdered all the Portuguese and the native 
Christians with their wives and children and decided to drive 
away Gonsalves and other Portuguese, from the islands they 
had occupied. He prepared a fleet of forty vessels, embarked 
six hundred soldiers and went in pursuit of the few Portu- 
guese who had escaped from the massacre of Dianga. At a 
time when these Portuguese adventurers were engaged in 
dividing their booty in the island of Dakhin Shahbazpur, 
Fateh Khan came to attack them. He was so confident of 
success that he inscribed these words upon his colours : "Fateh 
Khan, by the grace of God, Lord of Sandwip, shedder of 
Christian blood and destroyer of the Portuguese nation."f 
The small band of the Portuguese who, driven by circum- 
stances, were indeed now no better than corsairs determined to 
face Fateh Khan. They had only ten vessels and all the 
men numbered eighty. The fleets met at night and till the 
following morning there was a desperate struggle, in which 
one Sebastiao Pinto distinguished himself very highly. 
Victory was on the Portuguese side. Not one vessel of the 
Moors escaped and those that were not killed were captured. 
Fateh Khan, who had styled himself the destroyer of the 
Portuguese nation, was among the dead. The victory did not 

* According to the Dot. Rm. Tom. I. pp. ifctf Manoel de Mattos 
died teavmg a minor son and appointing Pero Gomes, Governor of the 
island. Fateh Khan probably siezed the island from Pero Gomes. 

t Faria y Soiwa Vol. III. p. 155 • Bocarro, Decada XIII, p. 433. 


cost the Portuguese anything, save the death of Sebastiao 
Pinto, who was loved by all on account of his noble 

The Portuguese who though victorious were merely roam- 
ing vagabonds felt the necessity of a captain who could train and 
discipline them, and chose Estevao Palmeyro "a man of years, 
experience and discretion" to command them. But he refused 
to be at the head of men who, though brave, had proved them- 
selves to be wicked by their ravages, and appointed Sebastiao 
Gonsalves Tibau as the commander whom all agreed to obey. 

Under the new commander, the Portuguese determined to 
gain Sandwip that was lost to them through the thoughtless- 
ness of Mattos. They gathered the Portu- 

/tJ^f,b,T m " S uese from the various neighbouring 

ports and by March 1609 they managed 
to collect a force of forty sail and four hundred men. 
Gonsalves arranged with the King of Bakla for assistance on 
the promise of giving him half the revenue of the island. The 
King, indeed, sent some ships and two hundred horse. Fateh 
Khan's brother who conducted the defence of the island met 
the Portuguese at the landing place but was forced to retire 
into the fort. The Portuguese then besieged the island for 
two months, but ran short of provisions and amunition, which 
could not be brought up on account of the enemy's opposition. 
At a time when all seemed to be lost a Spaniard named 
Gaspar de Pina at the head of fifty men came to the rescue 
from Hijili, with only a ship but much courage and ingenuity. 
He approached by night with shouts, blare of trumpets, noises 
of drums and a blaze of lights, creating an impression that a 
powerful succour had come. In this confusion Gaspar de Pina 
and the whole of the Portuguese force effected a landing and 
took possession of the island. The Hindu inhabitants of the 
island, who were already accustomed to the Portuguese rule 
during the time of Manoel de Mattos welcomed the entry of 

8 4 


Gonsalves. He received them well on condition they brought 
to him every Moor in the island. They gladly brought to 
him about a thousand Moors who were all murdered in cold 
blood. The massacre of Dianga and Fateh Khan's murder 
of the Portuguese in Sandwlp were thus revenged. 

Gonsalves became now the sole master of the island, 
independent of the Portuguese of Hooghly or of the Goa 

Government. Besides, he owned lands on 

Gonsalves t an In- 

dependent Ruler, 1607 the coast of Arakan. He had under 
~ ;6 '°' him one thousand Portuguese, two thou- 

sand soldiers, all well armed, two hundred horse and eighty 
ships with canon. Many merchants of Bengal and of the coasts 
of Tenasserim and Choromandel resorted to Sandwlp and 
paid duty at the custom-house which Gonsalves had erected. 
He dictated the laws of the place. The neighbouring princes 
sought his friendship and his alliance. He was at this 
time at the height of his power and glory ; but power dazzled 
him. He grew insolent and ungrateful. He took back 
the lands from the very Portuguese who had raised him to 
power. Instead of paying half the revenue of Sandwlp 
to the King of Bakla as he had promised he made an attack 
on him and seized the islands of Dakhin Shahbazpur and 

In the year 1609 disputes arose between the Prince (Heir- 
apparent) of Arakan and his brother Anaporan* over trifling 
matter such as the possession of an elephant. The Prince 
actually fought a battle against his brother who being defeated 
fled to Gonsalves. Gonsalves promised to succour him and 
kept his daughterf as a hostage. He and Anaporan, combin- 
ing their armies, marched against the Prince of Arakan but as 

* Faria y Souza calls Anaporan brother of the King of Arakan and 
in Documentos Remettidos he is said to be nephew of the King of Arakan. 
1 have followed Bocarro. 

s t Sister, according to Faria y Souza. 



the latter came with an army of eighty thousand men and 
seven hundred fighting elephants, they returned to Sandwip. 
In the sea fight, however, Gonsalves's brother Antonio cap- 
tured a hundred sail of the enemy with only five vessels on 
his side. Anaporan brought over to Sandwip his wife, children 
and all his treasures. It is an interesting fact that on her 
becoming Christian, Gonsalves married Anaporan's daughter 
whom he had kept as a hostage. Shortly after, Anaporan died 
and as Gonsalves seized his treasures it was suspected he 
caused his death. To suppress this suspicion Gonsalves wanted 
to marry his brother Antonio Carvalho Tibau to Anaporan's 
widow but she refused to embrace Christianity and hence his 
project was not realized. 

Many were the marriage relations contracted between the 
Portuguese and the Royal Family of Arakan. Not only did 

Sebastiao Gonsalves marry the daughter 

Marriage Relations c . ._, „, , - 

between the Portuguese of Anaporan (Meng Phaloung?) who was, 

Tf d Amkan° Val Famlly as Bocarro sa y s . the second son of the 

King reigning in 1610 (Xalamixa I or 

Meng Radzagyi), but also according to Manrique a son of 
Gonsalves married a daughter of Alamanja whom he calls the 
younger son of Xalamixa I (and of Xalamixa II in another 
place). It would seem that the Alamanja of Manrique is the 
same as Anaporan of Bocarro. But Manrique seems to speak 
of them as two different persons. According to Faria y Souza, 
Anaporan was the brother, and according to Documentos Remet- 
tidos, the nephew of the King of Arakan who ruled in 1607, 
that is Xalamixa I or Meng Radzagyi. It is curious that all the 
Portuguese writings should differ on this point. The daughter 
of Alamanja who married the son of Sebastiao Gonsalves was 
baptized under the name of Maxima. After the death of 
Alamanja his two other children, a boy and a girl, were 
baptized under the names of Martinho and Petronilla res- 
pectively. Martinho was brought up by the Augustinians at 



Goa, and at the age of eighteen he joined the Portuguese navy 
in the hope of gaining the crown of Arakan which he claimed 
on the ground that he was "the legitimate son of Alamanja, 
and grandson of Xalamixa II (sic)". He served in the 
Armada of Dom Ruy Freire de Andrade and then 'In the 
fleet of Nuno Alvares Botelho. He fought on the Portuguese 
fleet against the King of Achin in Malacca (1627-28) being 
wounded in the attack. He went to Portugal when D. Joao 
IV was proclaimed King of Portugal (1640) and died when 
returning to India. His sister Petronilla died at Hooghly*. 
It may be added, Brito e Nicote's son married the daughter 
of the King of Martaban, and another of his son was about 
to marry the daughter of Anaporan.f 

The Mughals since the fall of Daud Khan in 1577 were 
in possession of Bengal and Orissa and according to Bocarro 

had overthrown the Bhuyas by 16 10. 

o% n lt eS *J nacher ' The y had not > however, yet penetrated 

into Arakan and were now planning the 
conquest of the kingdom of Bhulua.J As this kingdom was 
close to Sandwip as well as to Arakan, Gonsalves and the King 
of Arakan thinking the Mughals would be a danger to their 
kingdoms forgot their enmity and entered into a mutual agree- 
ment to combat them. Stewart however says§ that the reason 
of this alliance was that they planned between themselves to 
invade Bengal, the agreement being that the King of Arakan 
was to proceed with an army by land and the Portuguese in a 
fleqt by sea. The King of Arakan entrusted the whole of 
his fleet td Gonsalves keeping his nephew as a hostage. During 

* Cf. Fr. Hosten's Annotations to Manrigve, Bengal Past and Present, 
1916, Vol. XIII, No. 25, p. 130. 

f Documentos Remettidos Tom. I, p. 356. 

% Bhulua is the largest pargana in the Noakhali district of Bengal. 
The village of Bhulua is a few miles west of Noakhali on the Lakhipur 

§ History oj Bengal p. 336. 


these negotiations Gonsalves gave back the widow of Anaporan 
who afterwards married the governor of Chittagong. The King 
of Arakan and the Portuguese attacked the M ughals and drove 
them out of the kingdom of Bhulua and took Lakhipur, while 
Gonsalves barred their advance from the sea. 

Gonsalves, however, soon changed his mind and whether he 
was influenced by a bribe or actuated by a desire for revenge 
on the former crimes of the King of Arakan, he allowed the 
Mughals to pass to Bhulua up the river. They then easily 
attacked the King of Arakan and routed his army. The unfor- 
tunate King with his nobles fled towards the forests of Tippera 
for safety. The King of Tippera who was the vassal of the King 
of Arakan rebelled at this time and put to the sword the nobles 
of Arakan. The King of Arakan with great difficulty escaped, 
mounted on a swift elephant and at last arrived in Chittagong. 

Seeing the King of Arakan defeated and driven to his own 
limits, Gonsalves took possession of the Arakan fleet with 
which he was entrusted and murdered all the Arakan captains. 
What is more, with a bold effrontery he set out with his fleet 
and plundered all the forts on the Arakan coast especially 
those of Chittagong, Maju and Ramu and destroyed many 
ships some of which belonged to other nations. Amongst 
these ships was one the loss of which the King felt most. "It 
was," says Farya y Souza* "of a vast Bigness and wonderful 
Workmanship with several Apartments like a palace all cover- 
ed with Gold and Ivory and yet the curiosity of the Work 
surpassed all the rest." All that the King could do in revenge 
was to order a stake to run through Gonsalves's nephew who 
was kept as a hostage. He impaled him on a high place near 
the Port of Arakan in order that his uncle might see him as he 
departed from the coast of Arakan. But he, to whom treachery 
and insolence were ordinary affairs, had no feelings for a nephew. 

* Fariay Souza, Stevens Trans. Vol. Ill, p. 161 ; Cf. also Bocarro 
Decada XIII p. 433. 




Situated on the banks of the Bouriganga, or as Manrique 
says, on the banks of the famous (and at that place fertilizing) 

Ganges, Dacca commanded an extensive 
trade and was the resort of many foreign 
merchants especially since Islam Khan made it the capital 
of Bengal in 1608. At the time of the Portuguese settle- 
ment in about 1 580, Dacca did not hold this proud position 
though it was noted for its rich industries. After the 
Portuguese had settled in Hooghly, they were not slow to 
avail themselves of the benevolence of Akbar and establish 
themselves in Dacca to secure the trade of this important 
centre. Her richest muslins and her various kinds of cloth 
found their way to Portugal, Italy, Malacca, Sumatra and Goa 
in the Portuguese ships. Ralph Fitch describes Dacca in 
1586, as abounding in rice, cotton and silk goods. From the 
account of Ralph Fitch it can be gathered that only six years 
after the Portuguese had settled in the Dacca district they 
had grown into traders of much importance especially in 
Sripur. Manrique says that Akbar as well as Jahanglr offered 
the Portuguese Fathers lands for their maintenance or as an 
assignment of revenue, which they refused because the Asiatic 
princes were wont to take advantage of the favours they con- 
ferred to turn the foreigners out. When the natives of Dacca 
were terrifying the people against the Portuguese because they 
ate pork, and drank wine, Akbar sent a positive order that no 
harm should be done to them. Caesar de Federici found the 
Nawab of Dacca in very friendly terms with the Portuguese 
and the Christians ; and Tavernier records that in 1670 he saw 


in Dacca a Church of the Augustinians, built of brick, and of 
a very fine workmanship.* 

These Portuguese settlers did not belong to the other 
section of the Portuguese who were powerful in Sandwip and 
in Arakan and who during Shaista Khan's viceroyalty settled 
in Dacca at a place called Feringhi Bazar. In fact, when 
Shaista Khan was bent upon the conquest of Chittagong he 
sent Shaikh Ziauddin Yusuf to the original Portuguese settlers 
trading in salt in Loricul near Dacca asking their country- 
men in Chittagong to abandon the King of Arakan and 
enter the Mughal service.f They having agreed to do so, 
were given by Shaista Khan the land known as Feringhi Bazar. 
About twelve miles from the city, springing from the banks of 
the Ishamutti, lies this Feringhi Bazar calling to mind the 
days of the Portuguese domination in Bengal. Dacca posses- 
ses another relic of the Portuguese. Though every trace of the 
factories of the Dutch, of the French and even of the English 
is gone,} a part of the Portuguese factory, beautiful in its 
ruins, still exists in Dacca close to the Church of O. L. Rosary. 
Bradley-Birt remarks§ "All that remains to-day of the vari- 
ous factories (in Dacca) is a portion of the house which the 
Portuguese once made their headquarters. It must have been 
in those days a fine commodious building, but like every 
thing else in this city of the long sleep it is sadly fallen and 
decayed retaining but a memory of its better days." Many, 
many of the early European archaeological remains are so 
ignominously disappearing and crumbling into dust that a 

* Tavernier, Ball's, Ed. Vol. I, p. 128. 

t Shiabuddin Talish, The Conquest of Chatgaon % J. A. S. B. 1907 
p. 407. 

\ The Dacca College stands on the site of the English Factory ; the 

Salace of the Nawab of Dacca covers the French factory ; and the 
lilford Hospital tends to suffering humanity where the Dutch factory 
once stood. 

§ F. Bradley-Birt, Romance of an Eastern Capital^ p. 286. 



Lucretius might have well exclaimed "et etiatn perierunl 


In the Dacca, Backarganj, and Noakhali Districts the 
Portuguese had numerous minor settlements where they did not 
erect factories or forts, though they carried on a considerable 
trade. Many of them were entirely Christian centres, where 
the Portuguese Missionaries built their churches and effected 
the conversions of the inhabitants. Most of the names of 
these places, once the scene of considerable activities are no 
longer current. But Dr. Wise and Beveridge, and latterly Fr. 
Hosten have thrown much light on the identification of the 
places that belonged to the twelve Bhuyas of Bengal. 

Sripur, situated according to Ralph Fitch six leagues 
below Sonargaon, has played an important part in the history 

of Bengal, being the seat of the kingdom 
of Chand Rai and Kedar Rai. De Barros, 
Blaev and Van den Broucke differ in the exact locality which 
they assign to it in their maps but all of them place it south 
of Sonargaon. De Barros and Blaev, whose map as far as 
relates to Bengal is almost a re-print of that of de Barrros, mark 
Sripur as Bunder. Van den Brouke calls it Sherpur Feringhi, 
which shows it was an important Portuguese settlement. 
Ralph Fitch says in 1586 that the Portuguese had sole autho- 
rity in Sripur. He speaks of having gone to Pegu from Sripur 
in a Portuguese ship belonging to one Alberto Carvalho.* 

Chandecan was another small settlement of the Portuguese, 
where the Jesuits built their first Church. Beveridge considers 

Chandecan to be identical with Dhumghat 


or Jessore after an elaborate discussion.f 
He has not however considered Van Linschoten's references 
, in his Le Grand Routier de Mer to the river of Chandecan which 

• Purchas, His Pilgr£mes % Ralph Fitch p. 185. 
t The District of Bdkarganj p. 176 ef seq. 


appears to have been a part of the river Hooghly or one of 
its channels near Saugor Island. Though, he says, he could not 
find Chandecan in any maps, it is marked in Sir Thomas Roe's 
map of 1632 and in Fr. Monseratte's map of 1 580-1600. Much 
information about Chandecan can be derived from the letters 
of Fr. Fernandes and his companions who carried on mis- 
sionary work in Chandecan at the express invitation of the 
King*. The Portuguese built a Church in Chandecan which 
was formally opened on January 1st, 1600. As it has been 
shown, the Portuguese activities in Chandecan were checked 
when the King of Chandecan, whom Beveridge supposes 
to be Raja Pratapaditya soon changed his attitude towards the 
Portuguese, and in order to please the King of Arakan 
treacherously murdered Domingo Carvalho, the gallant captain 
of the Portuguese. 

The Portuguese had a small settlement in Bakla which 
according to Beveridge included a great part of the Bakar- 
j ganj district and was really identical with 

the Chandradwip pargana. Fr. Melchior 
Fonseca who came to Bengal in 1599 has left a very good 
account of Bakla, which materialy helped Jater investigators 
in tracing on the history of its rulers. Bakla, was under the 
rule of a Hindu prince who was one of the twelve Bhuyas of 
of BengaLf He was well disposed towards the Portuguese 
and granted Fr. Fonseca a decree allowing the Jesuits free 
liberty to preach their religion and erect their churches. Fr. 
Fonseca found a colony of the Portuguese under a captain II 
(Capitano) in Bakla, which for many years had not been visited 
by priests. 

Catrabo called by Manrique one of the Kingdoms of 

* Du Jarric, Histoire, Part IV, Chap. XXIX. 

t According to Fr. du Jarric out of the twelve Bhuyas of Bengal only 
three were Hindus, those of Sripur, of Bakla and of Chandecan. 



Bengal was under the rule of one of the twelve Bhuyas 

of Bengal. Van den Broucke places it 
below Sonargaon and Beveridge identifies 
it with Katrabuh or Katibari in the Manikganj sub-division * 
Dr. Wise however suggestsf "Catrabo is Katrabo, now a 
* tappa ' on the Lakhya opposite Khizrpur which for long was 
the property of the descendants of 'Isa Khan Masnad-i-'Ali". 
Fr. Fernandes was in 1 599 in Catrabo and relates that the 
population* was mainly Muhammadan. The people were con- 
vinced through his efforts that the Christian law was true and 
good but they were not willing to be converted.} It was a 
place where the Portuguese founded a small colony which at 
one time was very influential. 

Loricul, twenty eight miles south of Dacca, was another 
Christian settlement of the Portuguese. It appears in Van den 
. t Broucke's map (1660) as Noricoel and is 

marked by a cross like all the other 
christian settlements. La Touche very curiously suggests§ the 
place was so named after the Portuguese Viceroy, Marquis of 
Louri^al, who ruled from 1741 to 1742, but as Fr. Hosten 
points out, the place wasjmuch older. Blochmann identifies it 
with Morculij of Blaev's map (1650). Merculij also is marked 
in de Barros's map, which was the origin of Blaev's informa- 
tion about Bengal. Manrique mentions that the Augustinians 
built a Church in Loricul though he does not give the date. It 
must have been built towards the end of the sixteenth century 
when the Augustinians had spread all over Dacca. Accord- 
ing to Sicardo, the Augustinian historian, the Church existed in 

* Troc. A. S. B. 1903, pp. 133*134- 

f J. A. S. B, 1875, XLIV p. 182. 

! Du Jarric, Histoire, Part 4V, p. 829. 

§ La Touch*, The Journals of Major James Rennet etc, Mem. 
A. S. B. Vol. Ill No. 3, 1910 No, 39. 


1682 but Rennel wrote on February 14, 1765 "Here are ye 
ruins of a Portuguese Church and of many brick houses."* 

The famous Portuguese merchant Nicolo de Paiva who 
left twenty thousand xerafins for the upkeep of the Jesuits at 
Hooghly and farmed the customs of the Nawab of Dacca 
lived in Loricol in 1675/f One Nicola Pareres, a "Portugall 
Merchant," probably the same as Nicolo de Paiva, as Fr. 
Hosten supposes, assured William Hedges in 1684 that 
"their (Portuguese) whole community had wrott ye Vice King 
of Goa and besought him earnestly to send them two or 
three frigates with aid and assistance of soldiers to possess 
themselves of ye Islands of Kegeria and Ingelee (Khijri 
and Hijili) for which purpose they had sent him draughts 
and large descriptions of ye said Islands." J 

In Bhulua, which was an independent principality in the 

seventeenth century there was a colony of the Portuguese. 

There were also numerous Portuguese con- 
Bhulua . . 

verts in Bhulua who were very influential. 

Glanius who has left a graphic description of the wreek 
of Ter Scfielling remarks§, "The Prince's Guard (in Bhulua) 
consists wholly of Christians which are there in great esteem 
and although perhaps they are only Christians in name 
being Negroes born ; subjects to the King of Portugal ; yet 
they are counted such brave fellows, that they have a parti- 
cular respect shew'd them and therefore the grandees of the 
court so highly prize their familiarity, that they relate to them 
whatsoever passes in Council." The Portuguese influence was 
so completely established in Bhulua that many of the people 
spoke Portuguese.ll 

* The Journals of Rennel, ut supra. 

t J. A. S. B. 191 1 pp. 27, 29. 

\ Yule, Diary of Hedges Vol. I p. 172. 

§ Glanius, A Voyage to Kingdom of Bengal, pp. 138-9. 

|| Glanius, ut supra, p. 136, "we bought Milk and Rice which we 
drest in a Pot that was lent us by Moors that spoke Portugaise." 



Hijili is a littoral tract extending from the mouth of the 
Rupnarayan along the western side of the Hooghly estuary 

and forming part of the Midnapore dis- 
tnct. It was formerly an island now 
united to the mainland and was a district of Orissa under native 
rulers. At the time of the Portuguese occupation it had its 
own chiefs but in 1505 according to the local traditions the Mu- 
hammadans under Taj Khan and his brother, took possession 
of it* After a period of eight years however a Hindu chief- 
tain recovered it. The Portuguese settlement in Hijili can be 
said to be the earliest European settlement in Bengal. The 
Portuguese not long after establishing themselves in Pipli 
(Orissa) in 15 14 migrated northwards towards Hijili. Before 
the town of Hijili existed as such, the author of the 
Ckandi was referred in 1577 to a Portuguese territory in or 
near Hijili as the "Feringhee Desk where they (the poet and 
his companion) ply their boats night and day for fear of the 
Harants (a term of abuse applied to the Feringhis) and pass 
it in twenty days."t If the boats plying night and day, took 
twenty days to pass the country under the Feringhi influence 
the Portuguese occupation of the Hijili coast must have been 
an extensive one. On the return journey of the poet he 
refers to another Feringhi desk on the Orissa coast where they 
visited Jagannath Puri. 

The Augustinians built in Hijili two Churches both dedi- 
cated to Our Lady of Rosary. In 1582 both Churches con- 
tained three hundred parishioners grown to an age of confes- 
sion.J Sicardo refers to another Church built by the Augus- 
tinians in the Bandel or village of Banja (which Manrique 
places in the kingdom of Hijili), dedicated to Our Lady of 

* Blochmann, Contributions to the Geog. and Hist, of Bengal, p. 17. 

t Calcutta Review, Oct 189 1, No. 186, p. 373. 

% Fray J. Sicardo O. S. A. Christiandad del JaponQk. HI. (Quoted 
by Fr. Hosten). 



Salvation, "the Christian community there counting five 
hundred souls exclusive of those whom the commerce of that 
Port brought to the place albeit the climate is little salu- 
brious." Manrique throws some light on the commerce of Hijili. 
Referring to the Church of Banja he says* it was built "to be 
able to cope with the great number of merchants who gather 
there to buy sugar, wax and Ginghams (guingones) which I 
have said is a kind of cloth made of grass (jyerua) and silk, 
a very nice and cooling texture to wear during the hot summer." 
An earlier account of Ralph Fitch (1586) saysf "To this hauen 
of Angeli (Hijili) come euery yere many ships out of India 
Negapatam, Sumatra, Malacca & divers other places & lode 
from thence much store of Rice & much cloth of cotton wool, 
much sugar, & long pepper, great store of butter & other 
victuals for India." 

W. Hedges mentions { in his Diary that the Portuguese 
were ousted from Hijili in 1636 by the Mughals and in 1724 
Valentyn referred to Hijili as a former Portuguese settlement. 
The Arakanese and Portuguese pirates now began to commit 
depredations on the Orissa coast and in Hijili. Tracts of lands 
became depopulated and the ryots left their fields. Shah 
Jahan thereupon annexed Hijili to Bengal so as to enable the 
imperial fleets stationed at Dacca to guard against these 
piratical raids. 

The ruins of the Portuguese settlements in Hijili can 
still be seen. A couple of miles south of Geonkhali lies 
Merepore, known still as Feringhi Para, where the S. P. C. 
Mission found in 1838 some Christians who declared that they 
were descendants of the Portuguese from Goa who were given 
the village of Merepore rent free as a reward for some services 

* Bengal Past and Present^ Cardon's Trans. 191 5, Vol. XII p. 48. 
t Horton Ryley's, Ralph Fitch, p. 114, 
% Yule,, Diary of Hedges, Vol. II. p. 240. 




rendered by them to the Raja of Mysadal, which is now in 
the Hooghly District* 

In Midnapore the Portuguese also had another important 
settlement in Tamluk. Tamluk is situated on the southern 

bank of the Rupnarayan and was an 

Tamluk . .... 

important seaport in ancient times de- 
serving a mention as Tamalites in Ptolemy's geography.f But 
it lost its importance towards the tenth century as the channel 
that afforded an easy communication with the sea gradually 
silted up. Hijlli then rose into prominence. It is noteworthy, 
however, that the Portuguese settlement in Tamluk remained 
long after they were driven away from Hijlli. In 1635 
a church was built there through Manrique's influence. 
Gemelli Careri refers % to it in 1695 as having been subdued by 
the Portuguese and in 1724 Valentyn remarks§ "Tamboli and 
Banzia (Banja) are two villages where the Portuguese have 
their Church and their southern trade. There is much dealing 
in wax here". 

Tamluk, like Pipli and Balasore in Orissa, had a great 
slave market where the Arakan and Portuguese pirates 
brought their captives for sale. In a description of the 
exploits of these pirates Shiab-ud-din Talish (about 1665) 
says, || "sometimes they brought the captives for sale at a 
high price to Tamluk and the port of Baleswar (Balasore), 
which is a part of the imperial dominions and a dependency 
of the province of Orissa. The manner of the sales was 
this. The wretches used to bring the prisoners in their ships, 
anchor at a short distance from the shores of Tamluk or 

* Indo-European Correspondence^ Calcutta 1869 pp. 80-81. (Quoted 
by Fr. Hosten). 

t M. Chakravarti, J. A. S. B. May 1908, p. 289. 

% A Voyage Round the World, Churchill's Collection, Vol. IV p. 109. 

§ Valentyn, OudenNiewui Oost-Indien V de Deel p. 159. 

|| The Feringhi Pirates ofChatgaon, J. A. S. B. 1917, p. 422. 


Baleswar, and send a man ashore with the news. The local 
officers, fearing lest the pirates should commit any depreda- 
tion or kidnapping there, stood on the shore with a number 
of followers and sent a man with a sum of money to the 
pirates. If the terms were satisfactory, the pirates took 
the money and sent the prisoners with the man." As the 
Portuguese pirates did not actually land ashore, it is obvious 
that the Tamluk settlement was not founded by these renegades 
but by the loyal Portuguese, like those of Hooghly, who accord- 
ing to Valentyn carried on a southern trade and possessed 
Churches even in the eighteenth century. 

The earliest European settlements in the Gulf of Bengal 
were established in Orissa. It was the same with the Portuguese 
' as with the English and the Dutch.* As- 

' tP ' & " i cending along the western shore of the 

Bay of Bengal the coast of Orissa was the first to offer a landing 
place. In the beginning of the sixteenth century, that is, a short 
time after the discovery of the sea-route to India (1498) the 
Portuguese established themselves on the coast of Madras. 
Alarmed at the growth of a foreign power, the natives rose 
against the Portuguese who escaped northward and in 15 14 
founded a town in Piplif about four miles from the mouth of 
the Subarnareka River, establishing their earliest settlement on 
the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Pipli was then an important 
harbour on the Orissa coast and a great centre of Portuguese 
trade when their fleets commanded the whole sea-board from 
Chittagong to Orissa. It was also a great slave market where 
the Arakanese and the Portuguese pirates sold their prisoners. 

Joannes De Laet refers in 1631 to this port as being in the 
possession of the Portuguese. Early in the seventeenth century 

* Before the English had any footing in Bengal, they settled in PiplT 
in 1625 and in Balasore in 1625. 

t W. Hunter, Orissa 1872, p. 37. O'Malley in his Balasore Gazetteer 
asserts that the Portuguese settled in Pipli in 1599, Cf. p. 36 and 204. 



the Augustinians had built a Church and a residence in Pipli, 
the Church being dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. 

The Portuguese settlement in Pipli continued to be a 
trading centre for a long period of time. Bruton describes 
Pipli in 1683 as a "Port town of the Portuguese where the 
Portugals are resident" and Fr. Barbier in his description of 
the Episcopal visitation of Bishop Laines in 1723 refers to a 
large Portuguese or Topaz congregation. 

When the East India Company sought for trade in Orissa 
there arose bitter hostilities between them and the Portu- 
guese settlers. W. Hunter, in his History of British India, 
gives a graphic description of a fight between an English and a 
Portuguese vessel.* A Portuguese frigate from Pipli, launched 
an attack in Harishar, a port in Orissa, against the first 
English junk that came to Bengal in 1633 and assisted by some 
"rjbble-rabble rascals of the town," nearly finished with the 
English. Ralph Cartwright, a merchant of E. I. Co., claimed 
before the Mughal Governor the Portuguese frigate as a 
redress for the Portuguese attack in a Mughal harbour. The 
Portuguese also entered their protests. The Mughals who were 
ill disposed towards the Portuguese and only a year before 
had sacked their settlement of Hooghly confiscated the 
Portuguese vessel for themselves to the great chagrin of 

The famous English ship Swan which came to Bengal in 
the same year received a quite different treatment from the 
Portuguese. According to the Diary of Hedgesf the 
Portuguese redeemed the Swan when seized by the 
Arakanese. "Last year (1633)," it says, "when the Swann was 
in Bengalla her boat beinge sent on shoare for water was 
suddenly surprized by some of the Kinge of Arackans Gelliaes 

* Cf. also C. R. Wilson, Early Annals of the English) Vol. I. 
p. 1 et seq. 

t Yule, Diary of Hedges, Vol. Ill p. 180. 


of Warr : 3 : of" her men killed, and the rest taken and 
carryed to a place in Bengalla called Piplee where a Portugal 
Captain that came thither on a small vessel from Macassar 
redeemed them for 400 : Ruppes which mony was presently 

sent him from Ballasarra for which affront we doe 

away all opportunitye to force a satisfaction." This account 
is in marked contrast with that of the first junk in which the 
English came to Bengal. 

The Portuguese also had a small settlement in Balasore 
of which no vestige now remains. Stirling however says* 

that in his time the only relic of this 


settlement was a small Roman Catholic 
Chapel with a wooden cross over the principal doorway. Even 
this has now disappeared. This Chapel or really a Church 
was dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. 

• Account of Orissa. 



The ecclesiastical history of the Portuguese in Bengal 
would fill up volumes. No nation came to India with a reli- 
gious zeal more fervent than that of the Portuguese. Their 
conversions went pari-passu with their conquests. The sword 
always allied itself with the Cross and while the one extended 
the domain of the Empire the other propagated the Christian 
faith. The, first words of a sailor of Vasco da Gama in 
reply to the question of a Tunisian Moor, were "we have come 
to seek Christians and spices." In the propagation of faith, 
the methods as well as the agents would in many cases be 
open to reproach if judged according to the modern canons of 
liberty and justice. One may, indeed, blame the aggressive pro- 
selytism of the Portuguese missionaries, as the Portuguese 
themselves have condemned it, but it cannot be denied it was 
through their zeal and efforts that the best fruits of Christian 
civilization were spread even in the most recondite parts of 

The first members of the illustrious Order of the Jesuits, 
came to India in 1542, among whom was St. Francis Xavier. 
Before them the Franciscans and the Dominicans had begun 

the work of evangelization in India. The 

The Jesuits 

Jesuits and the secular priests were, how- 
ever, the earliest on record to have come to Bengal. The 
Jesuit Fathers Antonio Vaz and Pedro Dias arrived in Bengal 
in 1576,* and a secular priest named Juliano Pereira, Gangarides 
Archimystes, as Monserratte calls him is mentioned as a vicar in 
Satgaon in 1578. Akbar invited him to his court in Fatehpur 

* Fr. DelaunoU gives the date as 1579, Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, 
s. v. Calcutta. v 



Sikri to explain to him the tenets of the Christian religion 
and he having done so as best as he could, requested Akbar to 
summon more learned priests from Goa. 

The work of the Jesuits who came to Bengal between 
1598 and 1600 is aptly described in their letters to Fr. Nicolau 
de Pimenta who was in Goa.* Pimenta sent in 1598 two 
Jesuits named Francisco Fernandes and Domingo de Souza 
from Cochin and two more in the following year, Melchior da 
Fonseca and Andre* Boves. They arrived in Hooghly in May 
of the same year and preached in the bigger Church (summo 
temple) which was built before their arrival. They erected a 
school and a hospital, evidently the first one in Bengal. In 
Hooghly they received an invitation from the King of 
Chandecan to pay him a visit but they first went to Chittagong 
in the course of their missionary tour, leaving their school and 
their hospital in the hands of the Vicar of Hooghly probably a 
secular priest. They erected in Chittagong two Churches and 
a residence. Though Chittagong belonged at this time to the 
King of Arakan they found it almost entirely in the hands of 
the Portuguese. Fr. Fernandes gives the text of the letters- 
patentf which the King of Arakan granted to the Portuguese, 
allowing them to preach the Christian religion and build 
Churches in his kingdom. As the King of Chandecan was 
angry with the Jesuits for their not having responded to his 
invitation, Fr. Fernandes sent Fr. de Souza to Chandecan and 
he was received favourably. In October 1599, Fr. Fernandes 
himself went to Chandecan and obtaining from the King letters- 
patent with full authority to carry on his mission and to erect a 
Church and a residence. The Church was formally consecrated 
on the 1st January 1600. This was the first Jesuit Church in 
Bengal and was therefore dedicated to Jesus Christ Fr. 
Fonseca was very successful in the kingdom of Bakla where 

* Pimenta's Carta. Cf. Du Jarric, Histoire, Part IV., Chapters XXIX 
and XXX. 



he found many Portuguese. He obtained free permission 
from the King of Bakla to preach the Christian religion in 
his kingdom and the Jesuits actually built a residence and 
appear to have begun a Church.* 

The successes of Fr. Fernandes and his companions un- 
fortunately came to a melancholy end. In connection with the 
disputes between the Portuguese and the King of Arakan, 
already described, a tumult arose in Chittagong in which the 
Portuguese suffered heavily. Fr. Fernandes having attempted 
to save some children who were being forced into slavery by 
the Arakanese was mercilessly thrashed and deprived of one 
eye. On the 14th November 1602 he expired in prison. Fr. 
Andre Boves was also cast into prison with chains round his 
neck and legs. To crown all this ill-treatment, the Arakanese 
used the sacred chalice as a spittoon. Following the fortunes 
of Carvalho, they took refuge in Sandwlp and then in Sripur, 
Bakla, and Chandecan. Carvalho was soon after murdered by 
the King of Chandecan. Under these melancholy circum- 
stances the surviving fathers eventually left Bengal, some going 
to Pegu and some to Cochin. 

From the letters of Fr. Fernandes and his three compa- 
nions, it appears that long before them, the Portuguese 

Fathers had begun missionary work in 
JSSL G™*™' Bengal. The Jesuits, then as now, not 

only converted the people of Bengal 
but also sent Bengali children to be educated in the great 
Jesuit College of Santa F^ in Goa, which was afterwards 
known as the College of Sao Paulo. Fr. H. Josson S. J. men- 
tions* the names of five Bengali children who were pupils of 
the College of Santa F£ in 1558 — Filippe, Gaspar de Deus, 
Antonio do Ermo, and two Pedros. In the catalogue of 
the pupils of that College, dated 1559, and still preserved in 

* Mission Beiges. 1913, Sept p. 331. Cf. H. Hosten, Bengal Past 
and Present, 191 5, Vol. XII, No. 24 p. 45. 


the Royal Library of Ajuda, Portugal, several names of 

Bengali children are mentioned.* 

From 1599 to 16 17 there is no record of any Jesuits 

in Hooghly. The Augustinians meanwhile had established 

themselves in Hooghly and when the 
Jesuits, tbry T . , . , _ , % 

Jesuits came back in 10 17 they found 

that the former claimed the sole right of evangelisation. The 

Jesuits however, took possession of their College of St. Paul 

and their hospital and in the same year they erected in 

Hooghly their first Church and residence. Three years after, 

both these buildings had to be re-constructed, because they 

were too close to the river. 

The Augustinians accomplished the most important work 

in Bengal. They were the fourth religious Order to come to 

India, their first batch of twelve mission- 

Augustinians . . 

anes having arrived in Goa in 1 572. When 
they came to Bengal, is a disputable point. Sicardo and 
other Augustinian historians say that they came to Bengal 
in 1 599. Manrique however asserts that they came after the 
Portuguese had settled in Hooghly in 1 580. When Tavares 
came to Bengal with a farman from Akbar granting the Portu- 
guese full religious liberty and permission to preach openly the 
Christian faith, to erect Churches and to baptize the natives, 
who would consent to be Christians, he applied to the Viceroy 
at Goa and the Bishop of Cochin for missionaries. The 
Augustinians having been chosen to minister in Bengal they 
came to Bengal as soon as the season permitted, with Frei 
Bernardo de Jesus as superior and in his absence Frei Joao 
de Cruz. Probably Sicardo has lost sight of the first batch 
of missionaries that came to Bengal. Tavares and his Portu- 
guese certainly required religious missionaries to carry on 
their religious work and as the two Jesuits who were in 

* Fr. Cros S. J. Lettres de St. Franqois Xavier, Vol. I, p. 484. 



Hooghly had gone away, only secular priests or Augustinians 
could have ministered in Hooghly at this time. Whatever be 
the truth, all agree that five Augustinians came to Hooghly 
in 1599 and the same year they built their Convent dedicated 
to Sam Nicolau de Tolentino, to which was attached the Church 
of Our Lady of Rosary. They took possession of all the 
Churches existing there. They also built a Casa de Miseri- 
sordia (Alms House) with an attached Chapel. The parishion- 
ers of the Churches numbered five thousand including the 
Portuguese, their descendants and Indian converts. The next 
batch of seven Augustinians came in the following year, that 
is, in 1600. 

The Diocese of Cochin formed in 1557 was at the head of 
all the Catholic missions in Bengal but Dom Frei Andre\ a 
Franciscan Bishop of Cochin, transferred the sole posses- 
sion of the Churches and right of evangelization to the 
Augustinians of Goa. These Augustinians extended their 
labours all over Bengal. They established themselves in 
Hljlli (Angelim) where they built two Churches dedicated to 
Our Lady of Rosary ; in PiplI where they also erected a 
Church dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary, and in Tamluk 
(Tumbolim) where they built a Church in honour of Our Lady 
of Hope. In 1606 the Diocese of Mylapore was created and 
the jurisdiction of Bengal passed from the diocese of Cochin 
to that of Mylapore. But the Augustinians continued to enjoy 
their privileges. In 161 2 they established themselves in Dacca 
where they built a Church dedicated to Our Lady of Assump- 
tion. They also erected Churches in Nuricol, Sripur and 

The Augustinians extended their activities to Chittagong 
in 162 1 and, in fact, took the place of the Jesuits who had up to 

that time ministered there and had under- 
ChUtof££%£ in gone many troubles. In 1598 there were 

2500 Portuguese and their descendants in 
Chittagong and Arakan; besides these there were Indian 



Christians. In the massacre of Dianga which followed Brito e 
Nicote demand of this port, all the Churches of the Jesuits 
were pulled down and some of the missionaries were killed. 
Those who escaped to Sandwlp and established the Catholic 
religion there, were afterwards massacred by Fateh Khan. 
When the Augustinians established themselves there in 182 1, a 
revival of Christianity took place. They built a Church and 
residence in Angaracale, and also a chapel in Arakan dedi- 
cated to Our Lady of Success. This was the time, it must 
be remembered, when the Portuguese were in the service 
of the King of Arakan and along with the Maghs were 
committing frightful depredations all along the banks of 
the rivers in the Sunderbunds carrying off Musalmans and 
Hindus as captives. Between 162 1 and 1624 the Portuguese 
brought to Ghittagong 42,000 slaves of whom 28,000 were 
baptised by the Augustinians. Besides these, they converted 
5000 Arakanese or Maghs.* In 1640 the Augustinians spread 
to Balasore where they built a Church dedicated to our Lady 
of the Rosary. They also built a Church in Ossampur and two 
Churches in Rangamati dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary 
and Our Lady of Guadeloupe. 

Though the Christian religion was flourishing in Eastern 
Bengal, it received in 1622 a great check in Western Bengal 

owing to the siege of Hooghly. During 
^Missionary Disasters, ^ sack ^ j ofty Convent of the Augus . 

tinians was burnt down and all the Chur- 
ches and buildings belonging to the missionaries were des- 
troyed. Only the Jesuit College and a few other houses 
escaped destruction as the Mughal officers took]up their abode 
in them. According to Fr. Cabral four Augustinians, six or 
seven secular priests and three Jesuits lost their lives in the 
siege. But the number of Jesuits killed must have been more 

* Fr. Delaunoit, Catholic Encyclopedia s. v. Calcutta. 


because he records that Fr. Fialho S. J. died during the 
night and that Br. John Rodrigues S. J. died in the vessel 
which Pedro de Couto blew up and that the corpses of three 
Jesuits more, Fathers Pedro Gomes Benedicto Rodrigues and 
Gaspar Ferreira were dug up from the graves by the Moors, 
who surprized at their not being decomposed very respectfully 
deposited them again in the Jesuit Church which was broken 
down. Four Jesuits, including Father Cabral escaped with 
those who took refuge in the Saugor island, numbering in 
all three thousand Christians of whom two hundred were 
Portuguese. Among the four thousand Christian prisoners 
who were taken to Agra there were two Augustinians, Frei 
Antonio de Christo and Frei Francisco De Incarnacao and two 
secular priests Manoel Garcia and Manoel da Anhaya. Consi- 
dering the brilliant arguments of Father Hosten, it is doubtful 
whether Frei Joao da Cruz, the hero of a miracle in Agra was 
among these captives.* According to Manrique he was severely 
wounded across the shoulders while escaping during the siege 
of Hooghly with some Portuguese descendants {Topasses) and 
was left for dead. These Topasses carried him to a neighbour- 
ing Hindu village from where a Hindu merchant took him to 
his own house. His wounds were so bad that worms set in. 
A Topass removed the festering flesh and cured him with 
applications of cocoanut oil and tamarind. Frei Bernardo de 
Jesus who was superior of the mission, was thrashed to 
death in Dacca at the time of the siege. 

The siege of Hooghly, however, checked the progress of 
the Catholic religion only for a short time. The following year 

the Christian Fathers and other Portuguese 

^.mZZ'L ** retumed with a 8 rant of 777 bighas of 

land (about 26b acres) from Shafr Jahan 

and with privileges the like of which they had never enjoyed 

Bengal Past and Present Jan. — Mar. 1915, p. 49 et seq. 


before in Hooghly. They did not establish themselves at their 
former site in Hooghly proper but a little outside the town 
in Balagarh, the present Bandel. Fr. Hosten supposes that 
they must have erected new Churches on the ruins of the 
former buildings. The Augustinians took possession of the 
777 bighas of land, about 280 bighas of which still belong to 
the Bandel Convent. They spread themselves all over Bengal, 
and it is chiefly through their efforts that numerous people 
in Bengal were converted to Christianity. In 1666 Berriier 
wrote that Hooghly (Ogouli) alone, contained eight to nine 
thousand Christians and that the Jesuits and the Augustinians 
possessed there large Churches. 

Although the Augustinians had raised in Goa a monastery 
to St. Augustine which as Mandelso said// looked from a dis- 
tance like one of the noblest palaces in the world and in which 
there was a Library the sight of which made Dr. Buchanan 
suddenly transport himself to one of the libraries of Cam- 
bridge, yet their Mission in Bengal was the wealthiest. Cottineau 
says f regarding the Augustinians in Bengal, "The Mission of 
Bengal is the chief source of their opulent situation ; the two 
churches in Calcutta, one of which is the richest now in all India 
(probably Murgihatta Cathedral) and all the other Churches 
in Bengal under the British Dominions are exclusively en- 
trusted to the care of the members of this Order sent directly 
from Goa though they take the faculties or licences of exercising 
the ministry from the Bishop or Administrator of St. Thome* of 
Mylapore near Madras who is commonly since near a century 
a member of the same Order." Their chief seat was the Bandel 
Convent and Church, on which depended all the Churches and 
parishes in Dacca, Solicur, Chandpur, Banja, PiplI, Balasore, 
Tamluk, Jessore, Hijill, Tesgaon Chittagong Dianga, Ranga- 
mati, Catroba, Sripur and Arakan. 

* Voyages and Travels, p. 8i. 

t Historical Sketch of Goa p. 123. 



When the French started a factory in Chandernagore in 
1688, the Augustinians erected their Churches there and claimed 
sole jurisdiction to the chagrin of the French Jesuits. But 
the French Government intervened and the Bishop of Myla- 
pore created in 1696 a parish for the French Jesuits. The 
Capuchins built a Church there in 1796. In 1753 the Catholic 
population in Chandernagore was four thousand. 

The Jesuits got back their property in 1640 through 
the good offices of Fr. Joseph de Castro S. J. but they did not 

on their behalf.* Manucci remarks that he was told in 
Hooghly by the Jesuit Fathers that before 1663 they had 
built a tiny Church made of straw. When a new Governor 
succeeded Mirzagol in 1664 he forced the Portuguese to pay 
Rs. 1,000 because they had built without permission a Church, 
which, as Fr. Hosten supposes, must have really been the Jesuit 
Church. Abbate Ripa called it a fine Church in 1709. They had 
a residence and a garden which is still known as Sam Pauh 
Bagan\ and which marks the site of the Jesuit residence and 
College. Various writers refer to a College of Jesuits in 
Hooghly and their superior was indeed called the Rector. 
According to Fr. Barbier S. J. who wrote an account { of the 
Episcopal Visitation of Bishop Laines of Mylapore in 171 2-1 5 
this Bishop died at the College of Hooghly. Fr. J. Tieffentaller 
S. J. who wrote a sort of a statistical account of Hooghly§ in 
1765 speaks of the Jesuit College as already in ruins. But 

* Storia do Mogor, Irvine's Ed., Vol. II, p. 90. 

t The Jesuits were known as Paulists in India from their great insti- 
tution in Goa, Collegio de Sam Paulo de Sante Fe\ 

\ Bengal Past and Present, 19 10, Vol. VI, p. 223 et seq. 

The Return of the 
Jesuits, 1640 

get permission to build a Church until 
1663, when the historian Manucci inter- 
viewed the Mughal Governor Mirzagol 



Fr. Hosten holds that this College was nothing but the Jesuit 
residence in which only two or three Jesuit Fathers lived with 
occasionally a lay brother. * The Jesuit Mission ministered in 
Hooghly till 1740 when Fr. George Deistermann the last Jesuit 
Rector died. But Fr. Delaunoit says f there was one Jesuit 
managing the Church and the college even up to 1746 when 
they were given up. At present there is no trace of the Jesuit 
Church and college but Fr. Hosten unearthed in 191 5 in the 
Sam Paulo Bagan a wall 47 ft. long and 2 ft. 11 in. broad, which 
he believes formed part of the Jesuit Church. Most visitors to 
Bandel have probably seen this Jesuit garden, about four acres 
in area, now occupied by Bengali tenants and planted with 
various kinds of trees including cocoanut trees, mango trees and 
plaintain trees. Excepting the southern wall the other walls 
are decaying. 

When Job Charnock founded Calcutta in 1690, the Portu- 
guese and other Christians followed him and obtained a plot 
of ground where the Augustinians built a Chapel. In 1797 
this Chapel was replaced by a Church dedicated to Our Lady 
of Rosary now known as the Cathedral Church. Its history 
will be dealt with later. As Calcutta was growing in import- 
ance and in population a need for another place of worship 
was felt ; consequently a new Church was erected by Mrs. Grace 
Elizabeth at Boitakhana in 1808. The Church of the Sacred 
Heart of Jesus in Dharamtolla Street was built in 1834 by a 
Portuguese lady, Mrs. Sabina Barretto de Souza in fulfilment 
of a vow. The Barretto family is noted for the erection of 
many chapels and for munificent donations for the Churches in 
Calcutta and in its neighbourhood. 

The year 1834 marked a new era in the history of the 
Catholicism in India. Hitherto the work of evangelization 

* Bengal Past and Present^ Jan.— Mar., 1915 p. 66. 
t Catholic Encyclopedia^ S. V. Calcutta. 



was carried on only by the Portuguese Missions under the 

The Rivalry between sanction and protection of the Portu- 
the Portuguese and guese Government. The Pope with a view 

other Missions, 1834 

to supply the growing needs of the 
Church created an Apostolic Vicariate and entrusted it to 
English Jesuits. But Portugal claimed the sole right of reli- 
gious (Catholic) jurisdiction, known as Padroado, which she had 
received from the Pope for her zeal in the propagation of the 
faith in the East. The Marquis of Pombal, the Portuguese 
premier aggravated matters in 1835 by suppressing all 
Portuguese Religious Orders. Thus interminable disputes and 
controversies went on between the Courts of Rome and 
Portugal for over fifty years. This period may be passed 
over in silence while mention may be made of only a few 
points of interest to the Church in Bengal. An Irish Jesuit, 
Robert St. Leger, was appointed the first Vicar Apostolic 
of Bengal and he took possession of the Portuguese Murgihatta 
Church. By the suppression of the Religious Orders in 1835 
very few friars were able to come to Bengal to carry on the 
work of the Mission among the Christians that were converted 
by the early Portuguese missionaries. The vast field of the 
Vicar Apostolic in Bengal was divided in 1850 and a new 
Vicar Apostolic was appointed for Eastern Bengal and 

In 1857 the Concordat between the Holy See and the 
King of Portugal curtailed furthermore the rights of the Portu- 
guese Mission. The Augustinians having now left Bengal the 
Goanese who had stood up for the rights of the Portuguese began 
to supply missionaries for Bengal while the English Jesuits be- 
ing unable to cope with the work, the Pope entrusted the Mission 
to the Belgian Jesuits while the Fathers of the Order of the 
Cross took the place of the Benedictines. The rivalry did not 
subside until 1887, when the Delegate Apostolic Mon. Agliardi 
came to carry out the clauses of the Concordat entered into 



between the Holy See and the King of Portugal Dom Luis I. 
By that Concordat it was decided that the following parishes 
and Churches should belong to the Portuguese Mission in 
Bengal under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Mylapore : — 
Boitakhana in the town of Calcutta ; Chinsurah and Bandel 
in the district of Hooghly ; in Eastern Bengal Dacca, Tes- 
gong, Nagory, Hashnabad, Sripur, Tangrakali and Tuital ; 
while all other places passed on to the Jurisdictions of the 
Archbishop of Calcutta and of the Bishop of Dacca. 




The high hopes which the Portuguese had entertained 
regarding the possibilities of trade in Bengal were realized 
beyond their expectation. Towards the middle of the six- 
teenth century a great part of the Bengal trade and shipping 
passed into the hands of the Portuguese. As early as 1535 
Diogo Rebello had forbidden any alien ship to touch at Sat- 
gaon without the permission of the Portuguese. The Portu- 
guese applied to Bengal the law they had enforced in the Indian 
seas in order to destroy the Moorish trade. Any ship that 
travelled without a Portuguese pass was treated as an enemy 
ship and was either not allowed to sail or captured. The 
superiority of Portuguese vessels over native craft render- 
ed the enforcement of this principle practicable, though 
sometimes the Portuguese met with their rivals elsewhere in 
the Turkish and the Egyptian ships. The ordinary merchant 
vessels of the Portuguese consisted of a captain, a master and a 
pilot, while among the crew there would be Moors or any class 
of Asiatic people. Until the Portuguese established their great 
settlement of Hooghly in 1 580 their ships did not permanent- 
ly stay in Bengal. However, the Portuguese ships commanded 
the whole sea-board from Orissa to Chittagong from about 
1537, when they had founded their settlements on both the 
arms of the Bay of Bengal. Kabi Kankan mentions in the 
Ckandiy written in 1 577, that the coast near Hljili was danger- 
ous on account of the Feringhi ships. The Portuguese came 
with their goods before the monsoons set in and spent the- 
rainy months in Bengal buying and selling goods and tran- 
sacting their business. When the monsoons were over, the 


ships would repair to Goa and other Portuguese ports laden 
with the merchandise of Bengal. 

The earliest commercial relations of the Portuguese in 
Bengal were with Chittagong (Porto Grande). De Barros wrote 

in 1532 "Chittagong is the most famous 

Porto Grande , , , . . , , . . - 

and wealthy city 01 the kingdom of 
Bengal, on account of its port, at which meets the traffic of all 
that eastern region." From 15 17 expedition after expedi- 
tion had come to Chittagong with no great success until the 
Portuguese founded their settlements in 1537 and owned 
independent custom-houses both in Chittagong (Porto Grande) 
and Satgaon (Porto Pequeno). Ever since the fall of Gaur and 
especially after the foundation of the Portuguese settlement in 
Hooghly, Chittagong had begun to lose its commercial import- 
ance. Even then Eastern Bengal and the kingdom of Arakan 
continued to be the seat of many industries and Portuguese 
ships used to go to Chitagong with their goods, though Hooghly 
was a more frequented port. In 1567 Caesar de Federici found 
more than eighteen ships anchored in Chittagong, and he writes 
that from this port the traders carried to the Indies "great store 
of rice, very great quantities of bombast cloth of every 
sort, sugar, corn, and money with other merchandise."* 

In Western Bengal, Satgaon was the emporium of Portu- 
guese trade since 1537. It was then the chief mart where all 

the merchants of Northern India flocked 

Porto Pequeno 

with their merchandise. After the Portu- 
guese had settled in Hooghly in 15 80 this port became the 
centre of their trade while Satgaon gradually dwindled into 
in significance. Hooghly was then termed Porto Pequeno. 

The Portuguese ships of the larger type, came up to Gar- 
den Reach or rather Betor (Howrah) where they anchored 
because the river Hooghly was not navigable higher up than 

* Purchas, His Pilgrimes, C. Frederick, Vol. X. p. 138. 



Adhiganga (now Tolly's Nollah) except by smaller vessels. 
Caesar de Federici who was in Hooghly in 1 567 says* that 
in the Hooghly river the large ships of the Portuguese came 
up to Betor (near Sibpur, the modern Howrah), whence 
the smaller ships sailed up to Satgaon and laded "Rice, Cloth 
of Bombast of divers sorts, Lacca, great abundance of 
Sugar, Myrobolans dried and preserved, long Pepper, Oyle of 
Zerseline and many other sorts of merchandise." In Betor 
the goods were stored in thatched houses of straw or bamboo 
and were either sold or exchanged in big local markets 
or taken to other places. Gradually these goods swelled 
the markets of Calcutta and Chitpore, which were then very 
insignificant villages. It is to these thatched houses and 
villages which as Federici and Manrique say, were made and 
unmade by the Portuguese when they went back, that can be 
traced the origin of the great city Job Charnock founded. It is 
in those marts of Betor, Chitpore and Sutanuti which were 
supplied by Portuguese goods that can be seen the first glim- 
merings of the great commercial importance that Calcutta 
attained many years later. C. R. Wilson well remarks/f "It is 
under their (Portuguese) commercial supremacy that the place 
which we know by the name of Calcutta first began to have 
any importance ; it is to them that we are chiefly indebted for 
our first reliable information about Hughli and its markets." 

The best account of the Portuguese trade in Bengal is 
found in Manrique's Itinerario. J Manrique, it must be stated, 

was in Bengal during the palmiest days of 
cf M p£u£in Tr^ the Portuguese and actually saw what he 

described. The Portuguese imported into 
Bengal various kinds of goods from other places which 

* Purchas, His Pilgrimes % C. Frederick, Vol. X. p. 114. 
t Early Annals of the English in Bengal. 

X Vide Fr. Cardon's Trans, of the chapters relating to Bengal in 
Bengal Past and Present 1915, Vol. XII, No. 24. 



were visited by the Portuguese vessels. The principal things 
they brought to Bengal were from Malacca, Sumatra and 
Borneo, such as "Brocades, Brocateles, Cloth, Velvets, Damasks, 
Satins, Taffetas, Tafiosinas, Tafissirias Escomillas or Muslins" 
of all colours but black, which colour was considered ill- 
omened in Bengal. From Malacca they also brought cloves 
nutmegs, and mace ; and from Borneo the highly prized 
camphor. They brought cinammon from Ceylon and pepper 
from Malabar. From China they brought silks, gilt furniture 
such as bedsteads, tables, coffers, chests, writing-desks, boxes 
and very valuable pearls and jewels, for labour being cheap in 
China "these were made in European style but with greater 
skill and cheaper." From the islands of Maldives they 
brought sea-shells {kaurini) which were, during the period of 
Hindu kings, current in Bengal as coins and were known as 
cowries. The bigger kind of shells called chanquos were 
brought from their fisheries on the Choromandel Coast. They 
imported from Solor and Timor both the white and the red 
varieties of sandalwood which was in Bengal a rich commo- 
dity. These commodities fetched such high prices that 
according to Tavernier, if the Dutch had not come to India 
there would be no piece of iron in the Portuguese factories 
but all would be gold and silver, for the Portuguese with two 
or three voyages to China, Japan, Philipines and Mollucas 
would earn as much as a thousand per cent on their goods. In 
spite of the Dutch having come, however, gold and silver 
abounded in Portuguese houses in Goa and other parts of 

From the records of the East India Company we learn a 
good deal about the trade and power of the Portuguese in 

Hooghly and in the rivers of Bengal. In 

Records *** a letter da * ed the 26th February 1616, the 

English factors at Surat communicated 
to the East India Company, "that hitherto they had not 



found it practicable to open a trade in the countries bordering 
on the Ganges, the Portuguese being in exclusive possession 
of the commerce in this part of the Peninsula." Another 
communication in 1618 says that "for small shipping 
there were no ports but such as the Portuguese possessed." 
The Portuguese extended their commerce to Patna in Bihar, 
in which connection Hughes and Parker, who had gone there 
from Surat to found a factory, write in 1620,* "The Portingalls 
of late yeares, have had a trade here in Puttana, cominge up 
with theire friggitts from the bottom of Bengalla where theye 
have two porttes, th, one called Gollye, th, other Pieppullye and 
therein are licenced by this kinge to inhabitt. Gollye is theire 
cheefest porte where theye are in greate multitudes, and have 
yearlye shipping both from Mallacka and Cochine. The com- 
modites theye usiallye bringe up hether is for the most part 
tyne, spices, and China wares, in live whereof theye transporte 
ambertye callicoes, carpets and and all sortes of thine cloth, 
which theye die into redds purposlye for saile to the sothwards. 
This cittye stands upon the river Ganges, whose suifte currant 
transportes theire friggits with such dexteritye that in five or 
six dayes theye usiallye go hence to theire portes, but in 
repairinge up againe spend thrice the tyme." 

In their other communications, Hughes and Parker throw 
some light on the Portuguese trade. "There are" they wrote on 
July 1 2th i620,f "some Portingalls at present in towne and more 
are latlye gon for theire portes in Bengala ; into whose trafique 
I have made enquirye and gather that theye usialye bringe 
vendable here all sorts of spices and silke stufes of Chyna, - 
tyne and some jewelleres ware ; in lewe whereof theye trans- 
porte course Carpets of Junapore (Jaunpore), ambertyes 
cassaes (a kind of cloth) and some alike." On the 6th of^ 

* Foster, The English Factories in India (z6iS-z6*i), p. 213-4. 
f Ibidem, p. 115. 



August 1620 Hughes and Parker spoke of many Portuguese 
frigates having come to Patna from Satgaon and remarked 
that the Portuguese merchants were wont to buy all they 
could lay hands on.* 

The Portuguese shipped various things from Bengal, seat 
as it was of a great many industries and manufactures. Pyrard 

de Laval who travelled in Bengal in the 

Portuguese Exports 

beginning of the 17th century says,f "The 
inhabitants (of Bengal), both men and women, are won- 
derously adroit in all such manufactures such as of cotton, 
cloth and silks and in needlework, such as embroideries 
which are worked so skilfully, down to the smallest stitches 
that nothing prettier is to be seen anywhere." The natural 
products of Bengal were also abundant, and various are 
the travellers who have dwelt on the fertility of the soil 
of Bengal watered as it is by the holy Ganges. When Man- 
rique came to Bengal in 1628 he found there plenty of 
foodstuffs, fowls, pigeons, castrated goats whose meat the 
people preferred to mutton, veal, vegetables, rice, butter, sweet- 
meats and milk, sweets. To export such commodities as rice 
butter, oil and wax 100 ships were annually laden in the ports 
of Bengal. Rice was very cheap, a candi (about 500 lbs. but 
in Bengal 1 20olbs.) costing only three or four rupees ; one contaro 
of butter (75lbs) cost only two rupees. Twenty or twenty-five 
fowls cost also about two rupees (one peso). A cow cost a rupee 
(three or four reals) ; 200 tbs of sugar seven or eight annas. 
These prices which Manrique gives may seem extraordinarily 
cheap but many others confirm him. In Bowrey's time (1669- 
1679) prices had gone a little high excepting of fowls. He says % 
4< A very good cowe is sold for foure shillings six pence vis., two 
rupees, a good hogg for ^ of a rupee, 45 or 50 fowls for one 

* The English Factories % ut supra, p. 197. 

t Pyrard de Laval, Hak. Ed. Vol. I. 329. 

X Countries Hound the Bay of Bengal, pp. 193, 194. 


rupee." Bowrey adds that the Portuguese themselves used to 
prepare in Hooghly all sorts of sweatmeats from mangoes, 
oranges, lemons, ginger, mirabolans, ringroots etc. and also 
make pickles from mangoes, bamboo, lemon etc., which were all 
good and cheap. 

Fruits seem to have been abundant in Bengal, the daintiest 
of all being mangoes on which unstincted praise has always 

been lavished by European writers. There 
industries mmerCe ""^ were no wines in Bengal but spirit distil- 
led from rice and jogree was plentiful. 
The trade in opium and its extracts was very great 
as it was used as an aphrodisiac. Dacca was then the 
Gangetic emporium of trade. It was there that those price- 
less muslins were made even as early as the Roman days. 
Its thread was so delicate that it could hardly be discerned 
by the eye. Tavernier mentions* "Muhammad Ali Beg 
when returning to Persia from his embassy to India pre- 
sented Cha Safi III with a cocoanut of the size of an ostrich 
cgg> enriched with precious stones, and when it was opened a 
turban was drawn from it 60 cubits in length, and of a muslin 
so fine that you would scarcely know what it was you had in 
your hand." These muslins were made fifty and sixty yards in 
length and two yards in breadth and the extremities were em- 
broidered in gold, silver and coloured silk. The Emperor 
appointed a supervisor in Dacca to see that the richest muslins 
and other varieties of cloth did not find their way anywhere 
else except to the Court of Delhi. Strain on the weavers' 
eyes was so great that only sixteen to thirty years old people 
were engaged to weave. These are the men who with their 
simple instruments produced those far-famed muslins that no 
scientific appliances of civilized times could have turned out. 

The betel-leaf alone brought four thousand rupees of revenue 
to the Governor of Dacca. In Midnapore scents were manufac- 

« Tavernier, Ball's Ed., Vol. II, pp. 7—8. 


tured from flowers and scented oils from a kind of grain and 
they were highly valued because they were used by the people 
to rub themselves with, after bath. In Hijlli there was a great 
trade in salt, sugar, wax, silk and cloth made from grass 
{Ginghams). There was a vast trade in salt in Sandwip and 
annualy as many as two hundred ships laden with it sailed from 
there. Ship-building material was very cheap in Sandwip 
and Caesar de Federici says that the Sultan of Constantinople 
had found it cheaper to have his ships built there rather than 
at Alexandria. He calls Sandwip "the fertilest Hand in all the 
world." Speaking about the cheapness of goods he remarks * 
"And when the people of the Hand (of Sandwip) saw the ship, 
and that we were coming a land : presently they made a place 
of Bazar or Market, with Shops right over against the ship with 
all manner of provision of victuals to eate, which they brought 
downe in great abundance, and sold it so good cheape, that 
wee were amazed at the cheapnesse there of. I bought many 
salted Kine there, for the provision of the ship, for halfe a 
Larine a piece, which Larine may be twelve shillings sixe 
pence, being very good and fatte, and foure wilde Hogges 
ready dressed for a Larine ; great fat Hennes for a Bizze a 
piece which is at the most a Penie ; and the people told us 
that we were deceived the half of our money, because we 
bought things so deare. Also a sacke of fine rice for a thing 
of nothing and consequently all other things for humaine sus- 
tenance were there in such abundance that it is a thing incre- 
dible but to them that have seene it." In the beginning of the 
eighteenth century Captain A. Hamilton saysf that he was 
informed by one who wintered there "that he bought 580 pound 
weight of rice for a rupee or half a crown, eight geese for the 
same money and sixty good tame poultry for the same, and 
cloth is also incredibly cheap, it is but thinly inhabited." 

* Furchas, His Pilgrimes^ Frederick, Vol. X, p. 137. 
t A New Account of the East Indies Vol. II, pp. 23-24. 


The Portuguese took full advantage of the cheapness 
of goods in Bengal and sold them at an enormous profit in their 
numerous ports in the East. The wealth that such commerce 
brought to the Portuguese is unimaginable. It also brought 
luxury in its train. Pyrard de Laval says* that the Portu- 
guese men of quality travelled on horseback, and that the 
harness of horses coming from Bengal, China, and Persia was 
all of silk embroidery enriched with gold and silver and 
fine pearls. The stirrups were of silver gilt, the bridle was 
adorned with precious stones and silver bells. The grooms 
carried fine horsecloths of red velvet fringed with gold and 
embroidery for covering the horses when their masters dis- 
mounted. It would be out of place here to relate the luxuries 
and wealth, which the trade of Bengal as of the whole East 
brought to the Portuguese. One of the reasons why Akbar 
asked two Portuguese from Hooghly to come to him was that 
he was charmed to see the precious goods they brought there. 
The Portuguese had found the trade of Bengal so profitable 
that even in the latter half of the eighteenth century there was 
an attempt in Lisbon at the proposal of Viceroy Conde de Ega 
to form a Company exclusively to trade with Bengal, f The 
Company was however soon wound up and the plan, like most 
of the plans at this time, was never realized. 

v* Pyrard de Laval, Hakl. Edition, pt. II. pp. 75-80. 

t Conselho Ultramarino No. 33. Vide Oanvers, Report on the Portu- 
guese Records etc, p. 15. 



...Ah ! Que desmaio 
Apaga o marcio ardor da Lusa gente ?* 

Barbosa du Bocage 

With the dawn of the seventeenth century the Portuguese 
power in the East had begun to decline. After spreading her 

influence over two worlds, Portugal had 
exhausted herself. The task undertaken 
was too great for a small nation. The energy soon spent itself 
out. Sailors could not be found to man her fleets even 
when outlaws and convicts were set at liberty. Even the 
expedition of the Governor Estevao da Gama who came to 
India in 1540 was chiefly composed of convicts. The later 
Portuguese were not of the type of Albuquerque, Cunha or 
Castro. In judging of the Portuguese of the seventeenth 
century, one should remember that the ships which sailed from 
the Tagus brought chiefly the refuse of Portugal to India The 
last flash of Portuguese genius shone in D. Joao de Castro, 
Viceroy of Goa, 1545-1548. The subsequent half a century 
marks the period of transition from glory to actual decadence. 

Pampered by wealth, the Portuguese in India had grown 
indolent. Luxury bred vice and profligacy. The civic 
virtues of the earlier rulers had given place to venality and 
corruption. Concealed beneath the pomp and splendour of 
the Portuguese grandees in India lay the seeds of decay and 
dissolution. Vice and corruption as in the days of the 

* Ah ; Lusians, what dull gloom o'erspreads, what dire dismay 
Quells the conquering fire, where heroes held their sway ? 

Trans /. C, 



Roman Empire were but the symptoms of the impending 
collapse. The earlier Portuguese were schooled in hard facts, 
while those who followed were easy-going and reaped the 
harvest which had been sown after years of hard struggles. 
Growing immensely rich without any difficulty they lost them- 
selves in a whirl of orgies. 

The ecclesiastical supremacy in the political atmosphere 
had also its own results. In 1560, during King Sebastiao's 
reign, the Inquisition was introduced in India. Its excesses 
in Europe alienated other European nations from the Portu- 
guese who in a religious zeal cultivated this institution. 
Diogo de Couto has painted in vivid colours how the inter- 
ference and preponderance of priests in politics contributed 
to the downfall of Portugal.* Ennes calls Dom Henrique, 
the Cardinal King, the grave-digger of Portugal, for tolerating 
ecclesiastical abuses and allowing a free hand to the 

The monastic orders in India had really grown to be an 
imperium in imperio. The Viceroys of India though beset 
with numerous enemies, considered the friars and secular 
priests the most dangerous of all. The Jesuits not only 
arrogated to themselves magisterial power but even collected 
custom duties from the vessels, sailing past their convents, 
threatening to open fire from the cannon planted on the 
towers.} The government could hardly enforce submission 
and even when the Portuguese galleys threatened to bombard 
the Franciscan monastery in Goa they had to retreat when 
the Sacred Host was exposed to their view. As it has 
been said, one does not know how far, the abuses of power 
and the defiance of law, were the causes or symptoms of the 
collapse of Portuguese power in India. 

* Dialogos do Soldado Pratico % Lisbon, 1790. 

f Historia de Portugal. 

\ O Ckronista de Ttssuart, Vol. II, pp. 70-71. 



When King Dom Sebastiao, "a beardless youth enamoured 
of glory" was killed whilst fighting on the sands of Kassr-el- 

kebir and his successor the Cardinal King 

f^King SOftheSpa ' Dom Henrique died before a year was 

over, the crowns of Spain and Portugal 
were united in 1580 under Philip II of Spain, (Philip I of 
Portugal). The event sealed the fate of Portugal. The 
Spanish King had no sympathies with Portugal, and treated 
her as a conquered country. A nation fettered with the bonds 
of captivity and slavery could no longer rule the world. 
Another little nation was now destined to break her bonds 
of servitude. Spain dominated at this time the Low- 
Countries which possessed the two great ports of Antwerp 
and Amsterdam. It was to these ports that the Portuguese 
commerce of the East was shipped and thence transported all 
over Europe. But the Flemish and the Dutch having broken 
with Spain, the "fatal Philip" closed all the Portuguese ports 
against the Dutch in 1 594. Being thus deprived of their trade 
in eastern commodities, the Dutch determined to sail to the 
East with a view to secure it for themselves. Portugal paid 
dearly for Philip's crime by the loss of an Empire. 

The Dutch not only wrested a great part of the trade 
from the Portuguese but in the constant struggles that followed 
for the next sixty-nine years, at length emerged victorious. 
Portugal whom "Neptune and Mars feared" was unable to 
stand before a small nation but recently under the Spanish 
yoke. It was not that the Dutch were bolder than the Portu- 
guese. A nation that had won the supremacy of the seas from 
the Arabs and the Turks when the Crescent was supreme even 
in Europe, cannot be said to have been excelled in maritime 
power and enterprise. The fact was that the Dutch, free from 
a foreign yoke, found the Portuguese demoralized and groaning 
under the oppression of the Spanish monarch. The Dutch first 
captured from the Portuguese the fort of Amboina and then 



the forts of Ternate and of Tidore in the Moluccas. In 164 1 
fell Malacca, the rich gateway of commerce and the scene of 
the heroic feats of Albuquerque. Galle, Trincomali, Baticola, 
Negumbo, Calacature and Colombo in Ceylon were then 
captured. The fort of Jafnapatam, the Island of Manar 
noted for its pearl fisheries, Tuticorin, Negapatam, the forts of 
Quilon, Cranganore, Cannanore and the city of Cochin 
successively passed into the hands of the Dutch. 

The English followed in the wake of the Dutch and bitter 
hostilities arose between them and the Portuguese. The 
English and the Dutch, indeed, combined to overthrow the 
Portuguese supremacy in the Indian Seas Three English 
vessels* and four Dutch ones blockaded Goa in January 
1623 but were forced to retire by the middle of March. 
The English, did not wrest so many places from the Portu- 
guese . as the Dutch. They, however, lent assistance to the 
Persians in conquering Ormuz and were indirectly responsible 
for many Portuguese losses which followed. 

The rivalry of the European nations was no less keen in 
Bengal. The Dutch ships arrived in Bengal for the first 

time in 161 5, though Dutchmen like Van 
in Bengal* Linschotenf visited Bengal towards the 

latter half of the sixteenth century. The 
Dutch fleet joined the King of Arakan and signalized its first 
appearance in Bengal by fighting with the Portuguese, near 
the coast of ArakanJ. The battle lasted one day but the 
victory was indecisive. Thereafter the Dutch continued to 
trade with Bengal but did not settle permanently in Bengal 
until towards the middle of the seventeenth century§ when they 

* The names of the vessels were Exchange^ Ann, and Diamond. 

f It may be mentioned that Van Linschoten served in the Portuguese 
Indian fleet. 

% Vide Chapter XIV. 

§ Orme loosely says that the Dutch settled in Bengal in 1625. Cf. 



established their factory in Hooghly. The Dutch rapidly ex- 
tended their sphere of activities while the Portuguese settlement 
in Hooghly sustained a severe disaster in at the hands of the 
Mughals in 1632. Though the Portuguese continued to trade 
in Hooghly long after, the Dutch easily outrivalled them. 
The Dutch erected their Fort Gustavus in Chinsura, founded 
a silk factory in Cassimbazar, another factory for salting pork 
in Baranagar, north of Calcutta, owned a beautiful garden near 
Chandernagore and later on established a station at Fulta for 
their merchant vessels. 

The first attempt of the English to open a trade with Bengal 
in 1617 through the influence of Sir Thomas Roe was unsuc- 
cessful. The attempts of Hughes and 
il k Bmgal iSk Parker in 1620 and of Peter Mundy in 1632 

to establish factories in Patna also proved 
failures. The first English vessel that came to Bengal or 
rather Orissa, fared badly in a fight with a Portuguese frigate. 
Jn the letters of the early English factors who strove to 
secure trading concessions in Bengal there are various refer- 
ences to the supremacy of the Portuguese and to their possession 
of most of the ports in Bengal. Through the good offices of 
Dr. Gabriel Boughton who cured the Emperor Shah Jahan of 
an illness, the English obtained a farman from the Emperor 
permitting them free trade in Bengal. In 165 1 the English 
founded their first factory in Bengal and six years later they 
established subordinate agencies at Balasore, Cossimbazar 
and Patna. How the English spread all over Bengal and 
triumphed in the end is ably dealt with by other writers. 

History of Hindustan Vol. 7f,p. 8. Bowrey remarks that both the Eng- 
lish and the Dutch owned factories in Hooghly about the time of the mass- 
acre of the English in Amboin.t (1623) Yule however has shown that the 
the English had no factory in Hooghly before 165 1. In the English 
Factories records there are references to the Dutch trade but not to their 
factory till after 1650. Toynbee's reference to the Dutch farman of 1638 
is not confirmed by Stavorinus in his List of Dutch fartnans. 




The first French settlement in Bengal was the result of 
an accident. The first French ship, the Fleming, which made 

n, FrcncH in Bl n S a, to a PP^ ance in ^"f' in l6 74 did not 

come of its own accord but was brought a 

captive by the Dutch from Balasore to Hooghly. The vessel 
was however set at liberty and the Frenchmen established 
near the Dutch garden, a small factory, which is men- 
tioned by Streynsham Master.* The foundation of the 
great French settlement of Chandernagore is believed to 
have originated in the farman of Aurangzeb granted in 
1688. The French, however, did not put any difficulties in 
the way of the Portuguese trade in Bengal. Until Joseph 
Francois Dupleix was appointed Intendant of Chandernagore 
in 1 73 1, this little French territory was an insignificant 


place containing a few families and, as Alexander Hamilton 

said, "a pretty little church to hear mass in which is the chief 

business of the French in Bengal." 

The first factory of the Danes was established at Balasore 

about 1636, and in Hooghly they settled sometime after 1676. 

The factory was built in Gondalpara to 
The Danes in Bengal , , 

the south-east of Chandernagore. A 

part of Gondalpara is still called Dinemardanga, that is, the 

land of the Danes. They obtained the settlement of Seram- 

pore in 1755 from Ali Vardi Khan. As the rise of the Danes, 

the Prussians, and the Flemish who successively established 

themselves in Bengal, did not contribute to the downfall of 

the Portuguese in any way, their account need not be given 


It was the Mughals who struck the fatal blow at the Portu- 
guese power in Bengal. Once their best friends, the Mughals 
proved to be their worst enemies. The siege of Hooghly in 
1632 was the beginning of the downfall of the Portuguese in 

♦ Yale, Hedge's Diary^ Vol. //, p. 233. 



Western Bengal. In Eastern Bengal the Portuguese were, 
indeed, flourishing at this time, but only as adventurers and 
pirates. When Shaista Khan conquered Chittagong in 1668 
the era of piracy was over. From this date onward the Portu- 
guese cannot be said to have wielded paramount influence in 
Bengal. The day of the Portuguese was gone while that of 
the other European nations had dawned. 



The privileges which Akbar had granted to the Portuguese 
were well maintained by his son Jahanglr ; for the latter like 

his father was glad at the promise made 

( 1632 )" S Causes 05hly Dv tne Portuguese to keep the Bay clear 

of pirates. He was, however, a weak- 
minded man and was entirely ruled by his wife, Nur Jahan. 
This fact had its influence on the history of Bengal. Nur 
Jahan favoured the fourth son of the emperor, Shahryar, who 
had married the daughter of her first husband and tried to 
secure the throne for him. Prince Khurrum (Shah Jahan) 
raised the standard of revolt in 1621, but being defeated he 
fled to Bengal and resided in Burdwan. During the time of 
the Mughals, every Mughal prince who was driven away from 
Delhi or had fallen into trouble in some way or other, looked 
to Bengal as a place of refuge, as it was far from the influence 
of Delhi and not peopled by warlike races. Humayun had done 
the same, then the Afghan Shef* Shah, and then again Prince 
Khurrum. From Burdwan Prince Khurrum asked Miguel 
Rodrigues, the Portuguese Governor of Dacca (or Hooghly), 
to help him with men and artillery and promised in return 
immense riches and vast tracts of land. Rodrigues declined 
to help him because he was a rebel son.* This insult cut the 
future Emperor to the quick and he swore revenge. What- 
ever the intention of the Portuguese Governor might have been, 
whether he thought it was unjust to help a rebel or that 
by helping the son he would incur the displeasure of the father, 

• Manrique, Fr. Hosten's Trans, Catholic Herald of India, May 8, 
1918, p- 354. 



his rebuke was destined to cost the Portuguese a good deal. 
According to Fr. Cabral S. J., a Portuguese actually went to 
help him with a few ships and then deserted him.* Prince 
Khurrum fought the Mughal Governor on the banks of the 
Ganges, defeated him and he became the sole master of Bengal 
in 1622. But under the conditions he was placed in, he 
could not muster a force strong enough to give any trouble to 
the Portuguese. Two years later the imperial army engaged 
Prince Khurrum again and defeated him, but on his asking 
pardon his kindly father forgave him. On the death of 
Jahangir, Prince Khurrum ascended the throne in 1627 as 
Shah Jahan and appointed his best friend, Kasim Khan, 
Governor of Bengal ordering him to keep a watchful eye on 
the Portuguese, so that the earliest opportunity might be taken 
to drive them from Hooghly. Another cause which heightened 
Shah Jahan's wrath against the Portuguese was that the year 
before the siege of Hooghly he had sustained serious defeats 
losing more than 50,000 horse in his quarrel with Adil Khan 
of Bijapore and he attributed the latter's success to the help 
which the Adil Khan had received from the Portuguese.! 

Fr. Cabral S. J. and Manrique who have left the best 
accounts of the siege of Hooghly enumerate many other 
causes which led to that tragic event. Fr. Cabral was an eye- 
witness of the siege and was one of those who escaped. 
Manrique was in Bengal at the time and was in fact mixed 
up with the causes of the siege. Shah Jahan, relates Fr. 
Cabral, felt the affront of one Manoel Tavares, a country-born 
Portuguese who having gone to his help with a few galleys 
when he rose in revolt against his father, had abandoned him 
at a critical moment. To add to the insult, the Portuguese of 
Hooghly had not sent him an embassy to congratulate him on 

* Fr. Cabral, Fr. Besse's Trans. Catholic Herald of frtdia t Feb. 6, 1918, 
p. 111. 

t Faria y Sou2a, Asia, Steven's Trans., Vol. Ill, p. 402. 


his ascending the throne. They were, it was alleged, in league 
with the King of Arakan who committed depredations on the 
Mughal territories and were supplying him with men, muni- 
tions and galleys. Above all the Mughals seem to have been 
exasperated at the conduct of a Portuguese captain of Chitta- 
gong who seized a fair and pretty Mughal lady during one of 
his piratical raids. Manrique dwells at length on this episode 
in which he intervened the lady to console her daughter and 
mother-in-law in their misfortune. It was this incident which 
according to him precipitated the siege. Fr. CabralS. J. 
supposes that the Mughals were indeed afraid that the Portu- 
guese might possess themselves of the 'kingdoms of Bengal/ 
considering their increasing power in Bandel (Hooghly) and the 
high regard in which they were held by the native Hindus. 

According to the Muhammadan historians the causes of the 
siege of Hooghly were quite different. Kasim Khan the Gover- 
nor of Bengal is said to have sent a report 

o/^C^Beiir i0n to Shih J ah5n complaining "that instead 

of confining their attention to the business 
of merchants, the Portuguese had fortified themselves in that 
place (Hooghly), and were become so insolent that they commit- 
ted many acts of violence upon the subjects of the empire, and 
presumed to exact duties from all the boats and vessels which 
passed their factory, and had completely drawn away all the com- 
merce from the ancient port of Satgong, that the Portuguese 
were in the habit of kidnapping or purchasing poor children 
and sending them as slaves to other parts of India and that 
their pirates in consort with the Mughs committed innumerable 
aggressions on the inhabitants of the districts on the eastern 
branch- of the Ganges." * Though it is true that the Portu- 
guese in Hooghly had grown insolent and took many liberties, 
they were not in league with the Chittagong pirates. They 

• Stewart, History of Bengal^ p. 240. 



however, bought the slaves sold by the pirates as they would 
buy of any body else. Kidnapping people and committing 
aggressions were not the practices of the Portuguese of 
Hooghly but of the Portuguese of Chittagong and lower 
Bengal, who had disowned their King and country and were 
mercenaries in the pay of the King of Arakan. As to the 
alleged aggressions in Hooghly the Mughals themselves 
indulged in them freely as can be seen from Fr. Du Jarric's 
description of the visit of Domingo Carvalho to the Portuguese 
of Hooghly * 

There might have been some private Portuguese individuals 
against whom the accusations made by the Mughals might 
have been rightly made. But considering as a whole, it is 
necessary to differentiate between the adventurers of Chitta- 
gong and the Portuguese of Hooghly. It was thus that 
the Portuguese replied to the Mughals during the peace nego- 
tiations, " To the complaints of the two Moors, the captain 
and his assistants answered in writing stating that the greater 
part of the charges against the city were mere falsehoods, the 
inventions of Martin Afonso and his crew. If necessary 
they would prove it by the authoritative evidence of the mer- 
hants, Moors and Pagans who had been for many years 
trading at Hugli. The other accusations concerned private 
persons, they contended, and they were in possession of a 
document confirmed by king Jehangir and Sultan Paraves, 
his son, to the effect that the Bandel would never be held res- 
ponsible as a body for the misdemeanours of particular 

It may be added that Asiaticus mentions as the cause of 
the siege of Hooghly, that " In 1632 the Portguese committed 
excesses on the Imperial Mahal at Hooghly: the emperor 
demanded satisfaction which was denied him." It is difficult 

• Vide Chapter IV, p. 72-73- 

t Fr. Cabral, Catholic Herald of India, Feb. 13, 1918, p. 130. 



to say what was the source of Asiaticus's information but 
the fact, is that as Fr. Hosten S. J. says, the Emperor 
never had any Imperial Mahal in Hooghly. There is also 
a Mughal story to the effect that the Empress who had a 
dislike for the Portuguese prevailed on Shah Jahan to crush 
their power in Bengal. When she was in Bengal she is said 
to have been offended at the sight of the holy pictures and 
images which were in the Portuguese Churches. Manucci * 
says that she was enraged with the Portuguese because when 
she was residing near Hooghly (Burdwan) with his husband, the 
Portuguese seized two of her beloved slaves, which they refused 
to return in spite of her urging them to do so. 

Of the plan and the conduct of the siege there are ex- 
cellent accounts in Fr. Cabral's Letter, Abdul Hamid Lahori's 

Badshahnama and Khafi Khan's Mun- 

The Siege 

takhabul-lubar. The latter repeats more 
or less the Badshahnama and Stewart's description is chiefly 
based on them. The most graphic and certainly faithful des- 
cription is that of Fr. Cabral S. J. who took part in the siege 
and was one of those who escaped. Other accounts can be 
found in Faria y Souza's Asia Portuguesa y Manucci's Storia 
do Mogor y Bernier's Travels and Fr. Catrou's " General History 
of the Mogol Empire? The Muhammadan historians are 
at great variance with the Portuguese historians, who them- 
selves do not exactly agree in certain points. 

When Kasim Khan got orders to march against Hooghly 
he knew it was no easy task. He postponed the attack as long 
as he could, till it happened that a Portuguese half-caste 
named Martim Affonso de Mello, whose evil doings had alie- 
nated him from the sympathy of the Portuguese, went especial- 
ly to Dacca and prevailed upon him to march on Hooghly. De 
Mello disclosed to Kasim Khan the treasures of the Portuguese 

* Manucci, Storia de Mogor, Irvine's Ed., Vol. I, p. 175. 


and informed him that the defences were not as strong as he 
supposed. Being thus assured, Kasim Khan delayed no more 
in making preparations for the attack and ordered all his ships 
and his land forces to be in readiness. 

Kasim Khan's son 'Inayath-ulla was given charge of the 
army though Allah Yar Khan was the real commander. 

Bahadur Kambu with five hundred horse 
■ I***?"!** i n # a£ £ d and a large force of infantry was sent 

in the Attack and in the & J 

Defence with another army making it ostensibly 

appear that he was going to capture some 
lands in Macksusaba. The object of all these forces was 
rumoured to be an attack against HljilL According to Manrique 
the armies were commanded by fourteen Nawabs (Muraos) ; 
according to Frei Nicolau by eighteen Nawabs and according 
to Asiaticus by twenty-two Omrahs or Nawabs. A fleet con- 
sisting of five hundred ships (Manrique says 600) was sent under 
Khwaja Shere to operate from the river and cut off the retreat 
of the Portuguese. This fleet appeared on the 24th June 
1632* in the river about ten leagues south of Hooghly and 
only two days later the army consisting of hundred and 
fifty thousand menf ninety castled elephants and fourteen 
thousand horse (Manrique) began the operations by advancing 
from the north within a league from the town. Captain 
Manoel de AzavedoJ conducted the defence. The Portuguese 

♦ I have followed the dates of Fr. Cabral. Various incorrect dates 
have been assigned to the siege. Elphinstone {Hist, of India) Beale 
{Orient. Biog. Dict.\ Ma,asir-ul-Umara give the date as 1631 and Faria y 
Souza as 1633. The Badshahnama relates that the first attack was made 
on 2nd Zil-hijja 1241. The Portuguese official account says that the 
siege lasted from June, 21 to Sept. 29, 1633, Vide Danvers Records 
p. 29. 

t This is according to Fr. Cabral. Faria y Souza's number is 200,000. 

\ Fr. Catrou and then Asiaticus say that Michael (Miguel) Rodrigues 
who had refused help and insulted Shah Jahan in 1621 was captain of 
the Portuguese in Hooghly at the time of the siege. This is wrong. Fr. 
Cabral and Manrique have a greater right to be believed. 



forces consisted of only three hundred Portuguese including 
their descendants and about six hundred Native Christians.* 
According to Cabral and Manrique the Portuguese had neither 
a fort nor even artillery. Khafi Khan distinctly saysf that 
the Portuguese had a strong fort with towers and embattle- 
ments furnished with artillery, but his description is only 
an enlargement upon the Ba,dshdhndmd\ which does not make 
any distinct mention of a fort though it says that the Portu- 
guese had erected large substantial buildings fortified with 
canon and muskets and other implements of war and that the 
town was defended by the river on one side and on the other 
three sides by a ditch filled from the river. Manrique says,§ 
"The town was situated in an open plain along the banks of 
the Ganges and was exposed on all sides. It had neither wall 
nor rampart but only an earthen parapet which they had 
thrown up, a thing of little value and still lesser strength." 
Fr. Cabral also asserts that the Portuguese had only erected 
barricades and built palisades from house to house, during 
the siege. 

The plan of the Mughals was to attack both by land and by 

sea. The siege began on the 24th June, 1632 when Khwaja 

Shere's fleet appeared before Hooghly 
First Attack . v * *» / 

advancing from the south, while on the 

26th the army began to operate from the north. First of all, 

the Mughals captured the lands which the Portuguese possessed 

on both sides of the river outside the town. By July 2nd all 

the northern suburbs and the Casa de Misericordia with its 

* The numbers given by Fr. Cabral are three hundred whites besides 
natives. Manrique gives 180 Portuguese and 600 slaves. The official ver- 
sion puts down the Portuguese forces to 200 Portuguese and 600 Chris- 
tian slaves. Cf. Doc. Remet. Liv. 30 fols. 281 and 288, or see Danvers 
Records etc. p. 29. 

f Elliot, Hist of India, Vol VII, p. 211. 

% IHdenty Vol. VII, pp.,31-32. 

§ Catholic Herald of India, May 29th, 1918, p. 414. 



Church was in the hands of the enemy. But the attack cost 
them a good deal An Augustinian friar converted the tower 
of his Church into a citadel and delivered such blows from there 
with seven or eight Portuguese and ten or twelve natives that 
after the attack was over, it was found that the compound was 
strewn over with many corpses of the enemy. The Badshah- 
nama says that the Mughals captured or killed all the Portu- 
guese they could get hold of before attacking the town itself 
and forced four thousand Bengali boatmen, who were serving 
the Portuguese, to join them. After playing the havoc, both 
sides desired for peace, and entered into negotiations. The 
Portuguese delivered to the Moors four vessels and ninety 
Christian slaves on promise that the siege would be raised. 
But Kasim Khan again demanded 700,000 patacas* from the 
Santa Casa de Misericordia and the moiety of all the goods 
of the inhabitants. After much fruitless dallying, the fight 
was resumed. 

The Mughal forces pressed on and the handful of Portu- 
guese gave up the defence of Bali where all the Churches and 

the buildings of the Augustinians were si- 

The fight continues . , , . 

tuated and retired southwards to their mam 
town of Hooghly. While retiring, the Portuguese set fire to 
their buildings and to the great Augustinian convent. The 
Moors who occupied Bali completed the destruction of the 
Portuguese buildings but spared the Jesuit College where 
their officers stayed. From the 31st July the Moors began to 
attack the main town of Hooghly and that little band of 
Portuguese under the command of Captain Manoel de 
Azavedo offered a stubborn resistance although without any 

The Moors hurled repeated attacks, the fleet co-operating 
now and then, but each time they were repulsed. Hardly a 

* Pataca was a silver coin worth about two rupees eight annas. 



day passed without fighting. The Portuguese were so few in 
number that they kept themselves mainly on the defensive, 
content to work as much havoc as possible in the enemy ranks. 
Meanwhile the Moors received reinforcements, artillery and 
ships from Rajmahal, Dacca and Burdwan. They dug up new 
trenches and mined the whole of the Bandel. They launched 
a naval and a land attack, but the Portuguese ships stood the 
attack bravely. Fighting continued in this way for a month 
and half. The Moors entered again into negotiations and the 
Portuguese eager to rid themselves of the scourge paid 100,000 
tangas (rupees) to them. They however never meant to make 
peace but only under false promises to extort money from the 
Portuguese in order to pay the soldiers that were clamouring 
for salaries. Meanwhile Martim Affonso was preparing to bar 
the flight of the Portuguese down the river. He bridged the 
river with a pontoon of boats and also threw across the river 
many thick cables and iron-chains. Fire-ships were kept in 
readiness and trenches were dug along the banks of the river 
for more than five leagues. 

Hostilities were again resumed and the Portuguese unable 
to hold the town any longer took to their vessels under cover 
The Flight, Sept. 24th °* darkness and began their disastrous 
l6 3 2 flight on the night of September 24th. 

About fifty or sixty Portuguese remained in Hooghly and 
kept on the fire to give an idea that the town was not evacua- 
ted, but on the next day the Moors launched a violent attack 
capturing the town*. The description of the flight down the 
river by Fr. Cabral, is one of the grandest pages in the history 

* The town was therefore captuied according to Fr. Cabral on the 
25th September, 1632. The Portuguese official account fixes die date of 
the capture on the 29th September and the BadshahnSmd, on the 14th 
Rabi-al-Awul 1241 (Elliot). Stewart, however, gives the date 14th 
Rabi-al-Awul 1042 {Hist, of Bengal). According to Fr. Cabral the siege 
lasted exactly for three months and according to the BAdshahn&ma for 
three months and half. 


of the Portuguese in the East. The bravery the Portuguese 
ships displayed has been seldom surpassed. In fact the 
defence of Hooghly can only be compared to D. Joao de 
Castro's defence of Diu, and well may Fr. Cabral say, "Ours 
did wonders never heard of before". Each of the Portuguese 
patackes, and there were many, contained about twenty-five or 
thirty Portuguese and some natives and few falconets and guns. 
With these they had to pass through the narrow width of the 
Hooghly river opposing five hundred ships, a land force of a 
hundred thousand strong and a hundred and twenty pieces 
of artillery protected by trenches extending on either side of 
the river for a distance of five leagues. The pataches com- 
manded by Pantaleao de Seixas, Luis de Maya, Pedro de Couto 
and Gomes Bareiros did wonders. But the tactics of Khwaja 
Shere and Martim Affonso cut off all means of escape. Most 
of the Portuguese ships were sunk. On September 27th Pedro 
de Couto's boat was blown up and it went down with 60,000 
tangas belonging to private individuals. The widow of Pedro 
de Couto and many Portuguese and natives jumped into the 
river and kept on swimming and diving until they were rescued 
by six boats that had managed to escape. Even these six 
boats met with opposition at Betor (Howrah) in the iron 
chains that were put across the river. The patache of 
Domingos (Ds<" ) De Seixas cut asunder an iron chain and pass- 
ed proudly on leading two other boats but capsized further 
down. At the pass of Betor the pataches of Luis de Maya and 
of Pantaleao de Seixas were lost, after desperate and heroic 
fighting against both land and sea forces. Some Portuguese 
ships however escaped safely carrying three thousand people, 
a hundred and odd Portuguese, sixty or seventy Portuguese 
ladies (whites) the rest being country-born people and slaves. 
The King of Arakan sent to the Portuguese an expedi- 
tion consisting of some galleys, and manned by Portuguese 
soldiers but the help arrived when the tragedy was over and 


the town of Hooghly hdd passed into the hands of the 

About a hundred Portuguese were either killed or captured ; 
besides them four Augustinians, three Jesuits, six or seven secu- 
lar priests and twenty-five married soldiers 

s2* Lm m EUker with their and girls lost their lives * 

Fr. Cabral does not give the number of 
the "slaves and the coloured people" lost, but the Bddshdhnamci 
says that ten thousand Feringhis and rayots died. This number 
is probably correct if it includes all the Portuguese, their des- 
cendants and the natives who died during the siege and in course 
of their flight. They could not be, however, all fighting men 
whose number did not exceed a thousand (300 Portuguese and 
600 natives) and a vast majority must have been of the civil 
population. In the Batavia Dagh Register i6ji-i6jf, it is 
mentioned that the Dutch heard that 1,560 Portuguese had 
been killed and 1,500 taken prisoners. The Mughals captured 
four thousand Christian prisoners and sent them to Agra. 
Regarding the Portuguese fleet, the Badshaknatna says that 
out of 64 Dinghas (large vessels) $7 grabs and 200 Jalies, only 
one Ghrab and two Jalies escaped.^ 

On the Mughal side the losses were enormous. The 
Badskahnama admits that only 1,000 of the Imperial army 
died in the conflict. Fr. Cabral holds as probable the estimate 
which a Mughal gave him in Arakan, namely 4,300 dead or 
missing4 This number does not agree with the number of 
Faria y Souza who says§ 50,000 Mughals were killed. It 
may, however, be taken as the probable one. As to the vessels 
of the Mughals, Fr. Cabral says "they lost 32 boats in the fire 

* Fr. Cabral, Catholic Herald of India, March 27, 1918, p. 243. 

t Elliot, Hist, of India, Vol. VII, p. 34. 

X Catholic Herald of India, March 27, 1918 p. 243. 

§ Asia Portuguese Stevens's Trans., Vol. Ill, p. 403. 



raft engagement more than 60 in the pontoon affair, and 
more than a hundred of their ships remained stranded on the 
shore, disabled for ever".* 

The three thousand survivors, among whom was Fr. Cabral, 
fled to the Saugor Island where they took refuge, but some- 
„ . time after a plague broke out, and those 

The Survivors r & ' 

who escaped its ravages migrated to 
Hijill and Banja. Meanwhile they obtained permission from 
the King of Arakan to build a fortress in Saugor and Manoel 
de Azavedo proceeded with the work. The King of Arakan 
who was in league with the Portuguese of Dianga granted 
many other concessions to them and to the survivors of 
Hooghly. He ordered the captains of his fleet to be always 
in readiness to help the Portuguese in Saugor if the Mughals 
attempted to do them any harm. 

On the other hand the fate of the four thousand Christian 
prisoners taken to Agra, where they reached in July 1633, was 

indeed lamentable. Manrique dwells at 

The Prisoners , , , . , . 

length on the martyrdom of these men and 

fortunately for the historian, completes the description of 

Fr. Cabral. Bernier in a few words summarises the cruelties 

to which the prisoners were subjected in Agra.f He says, they 

were all made slaves ; the handsome women were shut up 

in the seraglio, the old women and others were distributed 

among different Omrahs. The young lads were circumcised 

and made pages ; and men of age renounced for the most 

part their faith, either terrified by the threatenings they heard 

daily, that they should be trampled upon by elephants or 

drawn away by fair promises. Some Friars persisted in their 

faith and the Missionaries of Agra, who notwithstanding all 

this unhappiness remained in their houses, found means after- 

* Catholic Herald of India> ut supra. 

t Bernier's Travels etc. Constable Ed. p. 177. 



wards, partly by friends, partly by money, to get many of 
them away, and to have them conveyed to Goa, and to other 
places belonging to the Portuguese. According to the Portu- 
guese records the Viceroy of Goa really sent an expedition to 
Bengal in 1643 to rescue the Portuguese survivors. * 

* Danvers, Report on the Portuguese Records etc. p. 29. 



It is really surprizing how the Portuguese established them- 
selves again in Hooghly scarcely a year after the siege of 

Hooghly. This is all the more surprising 
Hoo&h* £33™ " becaus e Shah Jahan was at the time badly 

disposed towards the Christians and had 
not ceased persecuting them, even up to 1635. Yet it is true the 
Portuguese returned to Bengal with full liberty and a grant of 
777 bighas of rent-free land by July 1633. The account of their 
return is found in a letter (July 17, 1633) written from Harishpiir 
(Orissa) to Mr. Cartwright of Balasore regarding the possi- 
bilities of English trade in Bengal.* The writer says "Those 
Portinggalls whilome exspelled [from] Hugly hath found greate 
favour with Shawgahan (Shah Jahan) and re-entered that 
place to the number of 20 persones ; hows cavidall (whose 
capital) for theirs commensing a new investment is the third 
part of there goods formerly cessed on, which with large 
priveliges and tashareefes (presents) with honer the King hath 
beestowed on them. So that our exspectation [of] Hugly is frus- 
strayt and I feare likwise Pippoly will n [ot by] us be obtainened 
beeing a nancient (convenient) Randyvoes of the [irs] how som 
10 parsones have latly complained to this Nabob of our seeking 
to put them from that porte ; have answered we intended on 
such matter but only for Bollasary [Balasore] or Harssapoore 

• Forster, The English Factories in India, 1630- 1633, p. 308-309. This 
letter is not signed, Sainsbury in his Calendar supposed that the 
letter was written by John Powell (Poule) and Yule accepting the 
conjecture printed part of the letter in his Hedges Diary, Vol. Ill p. 177. 
The fact is however that John Powell does not seem to have been in 
Harishpur until Sept. 19. C. R. Wilson therefore changed the date of the 
letter to Oct 17 {Early Annals ; Vol. /, p. 17). Forster discussing this 
question in a note (p. 307) concludes that it was Thomas Colley who 
wrote the letter. 




(Harishpur) so with great delassa (encouragement) they were 
dismissed." It will be seen from this letter that the English 
agent distinctly says that the Portuguese who had been ex- 
pelled had now returned with such powers that all hopes of the 
English to establish trade in Hooghly and even in Pipli 
were frustrated. This is well confirmed by Frei Joao de 
S. Nicolau in his memorial * of 1785 and also by* Frei 
Luiz de Santa Rita, the prior and administrator of the Convent 
of Bandel in another memorial f prepared by him in 1820 
for the Provincial of the Augustinians who had been requested 
by the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa to furnish information about 
the grant of seven hundred and seventy-seven bigkas of land 
which he wanted to transfer for the Crown of Portugal. Frei 
Luiz de Santa Rita reported that in the archives of Bandel he 
found a MSS. memorial from which it was clear that Shah 
Jahan's farman was given in 1633 to the Augustinian Mission- 
aries and the Christians of Bandel. He added that this farman 
was lost in 1756 when Siraj-ud-daula besieged the English in 
rlooghly and sacked Bandel. He however found in the 
archives of the Convent a copy of the farman written in 
Persian with a Portuguese version attached to it. 

Besides the grant of 777 bighas of rent-free land it con- 

Tke Privileges of the ceded to the Portuguese the following 
Portuguese seventeen religious and commercial privi- 

leges} : — 

* J. F. J. Biker's Coleccdo de Tratados e Concertos de Pases, Tom. 
XII, Lisboa, 1886 pp. 17-25. J. H. Cunha Rivara first published it as an 
addition to Teixeira Pinto's Memorias Sobre as Possesses Portuguezas 
na India, Nova-Goa, 1859. 

t Biker's Colleccdo etc. ut supra, Tom. XII, pp. 12-17. It was first 
published by Cunha Rivara in O Chronista de Tissuari Vol. I, pp. 60-62. 

I The English translations of the Memorials of Frei Nicolau and of 
Frei Luiz de Santa Rita were first published by Fr. H. Hosten S. T. in 
Bengal Past and Present, J an.- Mar., 1915 pp. 106- 118. Regarding these 
privileges I have not, however, availed myself of Fr. Hosten's transla- 
tion wherever I found that it did not strictly conform to the original. 


1. That at the time of the Mass, no Moor, or ptdo, (foot- 
man, soldier) shall have the power to enter the Church to 
cause a disturbance. 

2. That the Padre of Bandel shall administer justice to 
its inhabitants in all matters except in crimes punishable with 
death, not excepting theft. 

3. That the Padre shall give the property of the deceased 
to their heirs or creditors, and the surplus to the poor, and 
the Sercar (government) shall not interfere in this matter. 

4. That, if the owners of the ships of both the Portuguese 
and the Dutch which land there, happen to die, the Dorbar* 
shall not interfere with any of the ship's goods, but only 
the custom-dues for the said goods shall belong to him (the 

5. That the Dutch ships shall not have the power to seize 
the Portuguese ships coming to Bengal. 

6. That the Portuguese ships coming to Bengal shall 
sell their goods in any harbour of Bengal, and that no change 
shall be made in the custom-dues. 

7. That, should the slaves of the Christians run away and 
be caught again in any place whatever, no Moor shall have 
the power to hinder them (being caught) and still less to make 
them Moors. 

8. That no Dorbar shall be allowed to retain the 
servants or employees {officiaes) of whatever class of Christians 
if they run away to another territory. 

9. That, in time of scarcity, no ships shall be allowed to 
take in rice for exportation. 

10. If the Christians are found to live in concubinage, the 
Dorbar shall have nothing to do with this matter. 

* Dorbar or Durbar means a court, levee or government. Here, 
however, it seems to stand for a government official as, a little below, 
Dorbar"\% qualified by nenhum (no). 



11. Should fires break out in the houses of Bandel, and 
bambus, stakes and straw be necessary for rebuilding them, the 
Sercar of the Moor shall not have the power to levy tolls, 
( tomar direitos) or to prevent their being bought or obtained 
from any other place. 

12. That, if some married families come from Europe, and 
wish to take a house to live in this Houguli, it shall be given 
them free and no customs (fretes) shall be taken from them. 

13. That all eatables coming to this Bandel, shall not be 
liable to custom-duties. 

14. That in criminal cases the father shall not pay for his 
son, nor the son for his father, but each one for himself. 

15. That families coming from Europe shall have the 
power to remain here for what time they like, and no one shall 
have the power to stop them, when they wish to return to 

16. That the Fordar (Faujdar) shall not have the power to 
call all the Christians for military service in case of war, but 
only four or five of the oldest and the best counsellors. 

17. That the two xequis (Shaikhs) who were down 
the river {para baixo : lower down) should not take from the 
Franguis more than was at first customary. 

In 1 64 1 Shah Shuja granted a new farman confirming all 
the privileges of the first farman and promising the Portuguese 
his protection. Toynbee also refers to this new farman* Dr. 
Wise who says he based his Statistical Account of Hooghly 
on MSS records and must have, probably, seen the document of 
Frei Rita or perhaps the farman of 1646 which seems to have 
escaped the ravages' of 1746, says of the re-settlement of the 
Portuguese,! "A firman was promulgated by beat of tom-tom 
through all the country ordering the immediate return of the 

* Sketch of the Administration of Hughly, 
t Bengal Catholic Herald^ 21st May, 1842. 


captives (Portuguese) who were loaded with presents and 
sent back to their former residence. The Portuguese thus 
received into favour obtained a charter (sunud) signed by the 
Emperor by which he allowed them to return to Hooghly and 
to build a town to the north of the former Fort, still known by 
the Europeans as Bandel and by the natives by that of 
Balaghur (strong house). The land thus assigned to the 
Christians consisting of 777 beeghas was given free of rent and 
the Friars were declared exempted from the authority of the 
Subadars, Fouzdars and other officers of state. They were even 
allowed to exercise magisterial power with regard to Christians 
but were denied that of life and death — at the same time the 
Emperor ordered all his officers and subjects in Bengal to 
assist the brave Portuguese. The Christians returned to Bengal 
in 1633..." 

It is difficult to make out how the Portuguese could have 
been allowed to come to Hooghly, and given such great power 

by the Emperor only ten months after the 
the ™ e t£n lanati ° n ° f siege of Hooghly and at a time when he 

persisted in persecuting the Portuguese and 
the Christians in other parts of his Empire. Almost all the 
writers on Hooghly, Rev. Long. Dr. Wise, Crawford, Asia- 
ticus and others attributed the return of the Portuguese to a 
miracle worked by God in the case of Frei Joao de Cruz who 
was they say among the captives taken to Delhi. The first 
account of this story about Frei Joao de Cruz's miracle 
was given in 1785 by Frei Joao de S. Nicolau who was prior 
of Bandel 1782-84, in a memorial drawn up by him after his 
retirement to Goa. The later writers especially Asiaticus 
and Dr. Wise added much to what Frei Nicolau related and 
the recollection of which, he said, was fresh in the memory 
of the people living there. Between the occurrence of the 
miracle, it may be added, and its account by Frei Nicolau a 
full century and a half had passed. 


Divested of its embellishments, the story of the miracle is 
that after all the Christian prisoners from Hooghly were 

Th M'ta u deal* with, Frei JoSo de Cruz, being well 

known for his piety, was reserved for a 
special punishment. The Emperor and his court having 
assembled on a gala day Frei de Cruz was placed in a large hall 
before them and a wild and infuriated elephant was let 
loose. To the surprise of all, the elephant did no harm to the 
kneeling friar but on the contrary lay prostrate before him in 
reverence and caressed him with his trunk. This created such 
a profound impression on the Emperor's mind that he pardoned 
Frei de Cruz, whereupon, the elephant as an expression of 
joy made three profound bows before the Emperor. The 
Emperor then granted Frei de Cruz and the Christians of 
Hooghly a charter allowing them to return to Hooghly and 
build a new town. 

Fr. Hosten has very forcibly questioned the truth of this 
story and asserted that Frei Joao de Cruz never went to Agra 
at all and that Shah Jahan did not grant liberty to the Chris- 
tians brought from Hooghly.* He adduces the authority of 
Manrique who saw Frei Joao de Cruz in Hooghly in 1628, 
who was in Arakan from 1630 to 1635 and again visited 
Bengal in 1640, and who surely would have known everything 
about the miracle if it were true. Manrique far from referring 
to any such story, says that Frei Joao de Cruz was severely 
wounded when trying to escape from the siege of Hooghly that 
he was saved from death only by a miracle and that he lived in 
great sanctity fn Goa where he died. "If Frei Joao da Cruz" 
asks Fr. Hosten, "had been the chief hero in the wonderful 
events which legend has grouped around his name, how is it 
that the Jesuit letters from Agra say nothing about him, and 
that Manrique says hardly more about him for the period 

* Bengal Past and Present^ Jan.-Mar. 191 5, pp. 49.50 and/. A. S. B 
191 1, Vol. VI I, No. 3 pp. 53-56. 


1633-38 than what we have related ; how is it that in the 
large collection of letters of the English and the Dutch 
factors or in the accounts of travellers we do not find the 
slightest allusion to the scene of the rescue alleged to have 
occurred at Agra ; chiefly how it is that the writer of his 
menology who intended the private edification of his breth- 
ren in religion should not have picked up the most marvellous 
facts of his history ? The reason must be that he did not 
find them in the Augustinian histories or that he found them 
contradicted or self-contradicting". These arguments and 
Manrique's evidence conclusively prove that Frei Joao de Cruz 
could not have worked the miracle which tradition and modern 
writers have ascribed to him. It cannot be denied, however, 
that by itself, the grant of land by Shah Jahan only ten months 
after the siege of Hooghly and at a time when he was persecut- 
ing the Portuguese elsewhere is nothing short of a miracle. 
On the other hand Manrique says that Frei Joao de Cruz, 
indeed, escaped death from his festering wounds only by a 
miracle. Seeing that Frei Joao de Cruz's recovery was 
indeed associated with a miracle it is quite possible that his 
name has been mixed up with another miraculous event, or a 
wonderful physical occurrence which had actually taken place. 
Fr. Hosten suggests that Shah Jahan never made this grant, 
though the copy of the original farman which was destroyed 
in 1756, says that in 1633 'Emperor Sajan Mahameo Sujakam* 
made the grant of land and the privileges to the Fathers and 
Christians of Bandel. If the Christian captives taken from 
Hooghly did not get the concession of 777 bighas of land and 
other privileges from Shah Jahan, what other Portuguese could 
have got them and who gave them ? The constructive part 
of Father Hosten's arguments and the explanation of this 
concession is not as striking as the destructive one. He sur- 
mises that perhaps through a bribe Mir Muhammad Azim 
Khan, Governor of Bengal, 1632-39, made the grant on the 

1 48 


sly to a few Portuguese families (from where ?) and that this 
grant was probably a confirmation of a part or whole of the 
grant made by Akbar to Tavares before 1580. It is not pro- 
bable that Azim Khan could have taken such a step when 
Shah Jahan's wrath had not yet abated and when it was quite 
certain that the Emperor would come to know of such an 
important concession through some of the numerous Mughals 
who were in Bengal and who could not have been well dis- 
posed towards the Portuguese only a few months after the 
siege. As a matter fact, Azim Khan continued to be Gover- 
nor of Bengal for six years after this suggested treachery 
with full confidence of the Emperor. Hence all that can be said 
at the present state of our historian researches is that the 
return of the Portuguese to Hooghly, under the sanction of 
Shah Jahan only a few months after the seige, remains 

The Augustinians took possession of the 777 bighas of rent- 
free land and out of them about 280 bighas still belong to the 

Bandel Convent, the rest being lost 
Cr^nfrTe%Aurch e through many litigations and bad man- 
agement of the Priors. It is questionable, 
however, whether the grant of land was made to the Church, 
or to the Portuguese government. In 1782 the Portuguese 
ambassador in London learnt from an English merchant 
who had returned home from Madras that the Portuguese 
possessed an important commercial port near Calcutta 
managed by some runaway Portuguese who lived with- 
out any order or government but who raised a Portuguese 
flag, maintained a priest and abided by his authority. The 
Portuguese ambassador having informed the Home Govern- 
ment about this Portuguese possession, the Viceroy at Goa 
was asked to furnish detailed information regarding it. The 
Viceroy however knew no more about the affairs in Bengal 
than the Government at Lisbon and asked the Provincial of 

Portuguese in Bengal, 1919. 

[ To face page /yp. 


The Portuguese Settlement of 1633 included all the foreshore from the pNMeni j»it, which is to the south of the area 
covered by the map, to the northern limit of the Circuit House Compound. 


the Bengal Missions to furnish the desired infomation. As a 
result of those dealings, Fr. Joao de S. Nicolau, who had been 
many years Prior of the Bandel Convent, drew up in 1785 
after having retired to Goa a memorial, referred to above. In 
this memorial he stated that the flag, raised in Bandel, was 
that of Our Lady of Rosary and not of the Portuguese 
Government and that the lands or the settlement belonged to 
the Augustinians, since the farrnan was granted to Fr. Joao de 
Cruz by the Mughal Emperor "signed with his own hand and 
sealed with his royal seal, bestowing on him 760 bighas of 
land in a place left to the Father's choice." When the Portu- 
guese Government raised the question of the property again 
in 1820 and asked the Augustinian Provincial for a copy of the 
fartnatty Frei Luis de Santa Rita, vicar of Bandel drew up 
another memorial in which he gave a detailed account of the 
settlement. He stated the farman was granted by the Mughal 
Emperor to the Fathers and the Christians, that it was destroy- 
ed during Siraj-ud-daula's sack of Hooghly, and that its copy 
existed in the Bandel Convent, from which he had copied the 
seventeen privileges they enjoyed. 

From what the Augustinian Fathers asserted in the memo- 
rials, it would appear that the Bandel lands belonged to the 
Church and not to the Portuguese Government, or to private 
persons. According to Manrique, an Augustinian friar, the 
Augustinian Fathers always refused to accept the grant of lands. 
"The Padchd or Emperor Acabar," he says * "as well as his son 
Zia-hianguir or Ianguir as he is more commonly called, tried 
more than once to give the Fathers lands for their maintenance, 
or assign to them mainas, that is a monthly allowance to be 
paid from their nacassares or Royal treasuries, but the 
religious of St. Augustin always refused to accept such 
income, not only in this Empire (Bengal) but also in Persia 

* Manrique, Fr. Cardon's Trah*. Bengal Past and Present. 191 5 Vol. 
XII, p. 50. 


and other infidel kingdoms where they live" In view of this, 
it would seem that the Augustinians could not have accepted 
the lands even if they were given to them. The grant was 
made in 1633 an< * Manrique's experience is of the same time, 
since he was in Bengal and Arakan from 1628- 1636 and 
again in 1640. Thomas Colley or John Poule said that twenty 
Portuguese occupied the Bandel lands, without mentioning, 
however, whether they represented the Church or the Govern- 
ment.» There is a petition which a Portuguese named 
George Germain made, on the 31st December 1784, to the 
Queen of Portugal requesting her government to take possession 
of the lands that he declared belonged to the government and 
not to the Church.-)- This petition is earlier in date than 
the memorial of Frei Joao de S. Nicolau by two months 
and did not seem to have reached Portugal before the Portu- 
guese minister in London communicated to his govern- 
ment the information he had received through an English 
source. George Germain maintains in the petition that the 
settlement of Bandel belonged to the Portuguese ; that when 
the number of European Portuguese was diminishing in Bandel 
the Augustinians took charge of the lands and that these 
Fathers thinking themselves masters of the property lost the 
farman under conditions which he describes. He states that 
Fr. da Cruz influenced Shah Jahan to confirm the earlier 
grant of 777 bighas of land to the Portuguese, though he 
does not refer to any miracle. It is difficult to say how 
much credence the different statements deserve. It may 
be, taken for granted on the authority of John Poule 
or 'Thomas Colley, at least until the copies of the original 
farmans are discovered, that the grant of the lands was made 
to twenty private Portuguese persons who subsequently made 

* Vide p. 141. 

t This important document has been published in O Orient* Portu£uts> 
1906. Vot. Ill, pp. 129-134. For its translation Vide Addenda 11. 


over the lands to the Church. Frey de Santa Rita said in 
1820 that the Prior of Bandel delivered Shah Shuja's farman 
of 1646 to the English government in 1786. It is possible, 
therefore, to find it in the Imperial Records Department. 
German in his Appeal of 1784, gives detailed directions 
regarding the finding of the copies of the farmans in the 
Mughal Records (vide Addenda II). 

In whatever way the Portuguese might have settled again 
in Hooghly in 1633, they never regained their former power 
th R t an d political importance. As it has been 

After 1 1. etum already said, the Portuguese power in the 

East had long begun to decline and the Portuguese that came 
to India at this time were no longer the Portuguese of the days 
of Albuquerque. Besides, it was the time when European rival 
nations had come to Bengal and were striving to establish their 
supremacy by supplanting the power of the Portuguese. The 
Dutch obtained a farman from Shah Jahan in 1625 to erect a 
factory in Hooghly and to trade in Bengal, and the Portuguese 
who had wrested the trade from the Moors, when their power 
was at its zenith even in Europe, could not compete with this 
brave little nation. The English who were for long powerless in 
Bengal on account of the Portuguese supremacy, obtained 
permission from Shah Jahan to trade in Bengal in 1638 and 
gradually other nations stepped in where the Portuguese had 
an undisputed sway. Still the Portuguese trade continued to 
flourish to a considerable extent. 

It is thus that the Venetian Manucci speaks of the Portu- 
guese whom he saw in Hooghly about 1660 : "Here I found 
the chief inhabitants of Hooghly, all of them rich Portuguese 
for in those days they alone were allowed to deal in salt 
throughout the province of Bengal."* He also adds "there were 
many Portuguese of good sense, of good family, well establish- 

Storia do Mogor, Irvine's Ed., Vol. II, p. 89. 


ed merchants at Hugli." Six years later Bernier says* that 
there were eight or nine thousand Portuguese and mesticos at 
Hooghly and that the Portuguese, driven from other quarters 
by the Dutch, resorted there. In 1669-1679 the number of 
the Portuguese and their descendants all over Bengal was no 
less than 20,000, according to Bowrey,f half of whom were in 
Hooghly. As in the palmiest days of the Portuguese in 
Hooghly, the number of the pure Portuguese did not exceed 
three hundred, Bowrey's numbers evidently include most of 
their descendants. Regarding the Portuguese trade in Hooghly 
Bowrey adds that many Portuguese ships sailed there tran- 
sporting sundry commodities.} 

Though the English and the Dutch had obtained import- 
ant commercial concessions, they met with a keen rivalry on the 

part of the earlier traders, though the 

Commercial Rivalry , M j , . , r .1 • 

latter had lost many of their own privi- 
leges. In the*. Diaries of Streynsham Master, who was Gover- 
nor of Fort St. George and agent deputed by the Court of 
Directors to Bengal, several pages are devoted to the descrip- 
tion of the business of a Portuguese merchant named Joao 
Gomes de Soito.§ This rich merchant rebuilt the Bandel Church 
(Hooghly) in 1661, and was buried in the Bandel Churchyard 
but unfortunately the tablet with the inscription on his tomb, 
which Asiaticus copied in 1803 is no longer to be found.|| On 
the ground that the E. I. Company refused to pay him a sum 
of about Rs. 6,000 due to him in 1652 on a consignment of 
cinnamon, sent by him to Persia in a Company's ship, he 
managed to have the English factors seized and imprisoned. 
A few years after, his son Pascal and his widow referred the 

* Bernier's Travels, Constable's Ed., p. 439. 

Countries Round the Bay of Bengal, Temple's Ed., p. 195. 
Ibidem p. 133. 

Diaries of Streynsham Master, Temple's Ed., Vide Index s. v. De 


|| Vide p. 230 


matter to the Nawab of Dacca and obtained a decree that the 
Company should pay him a thousand rupees. Such disputes 
frequently arose among the European traders in Bengal. In 
the struggle the Portuguese eventually fell. But up to the end 
of the seventeenth century they may be said to have maintain- 
ed against powerful odds their sway over the commercial 
activities of Bengal. In the eighteenth century the Portuguese 
played a subordinate part in Bengal and their history merges 
into that of their descendants. 



The Pall of Gonsalves and the Rise of Piracy 

The power which Sebastiao Gonsalves had acquired in 
SandwTp was not destined to last long. In 1615 Gonsalves 

conceived the plan of conquering Arakan. 
rtoS-Sri* fGmsalves% Though he had always ruled as an abso- 
lute and independent prince he proposed 
to the Portuguese Viceroy in Goa offering to acknowledge 
the suzerainty of the King of Portugal and deliver every year 
a galleot of rice either at Malacca or Goa as a yearly tribute if 
he would help him in the conquest of Arakan. He further assur- 
ed the vast treasures of the King of Arakan would be at their 
disposal. The Viceroy Jeronymo de Azavedo, who was quite 
pleased with this offer, fitted out an expedition of fourteen gal- 
leots, a flyboat, and a pink under the command of Dom Fran- 
cisco de Menezes Roxo, the former Governor of Ceylon*. This 
expedition arrived on the 3rd of October 161 5 and after a con- 
sultation with Gonsalves it was decided that Menezes should 
attack Arakan, the head quarters of the King and that Gonsal- 
ves should follow him. A new power had however come to help 
the Arakanese, a power that eventually contributed a good deal 
towards the downfall of the Portuguese in the East. On the 
15th October the Portuguese saw a Dutch fleet coming down 
the river composed of such a large number of ships that, as 
Faria y Souza saysf, the Portuguese could not see the end of it. 

* This expedition is described by Bocarro, Decada XI 77, and by« Faria 
y Souza, Ana, Stevens, Vol. Ill, p. 226. 

f Asia Portuguese Stevens, Vol. III. p. 224 et seq. 


Against this force Menezes had to defend only with sixteen 
vessels, nay, only with fourteen, because one had fled and 
another had gone in pursuit of it. Yet they engaged the com- 
bined fleet of the Dutch and the Arakanese. The fight lasted 
the whole day. Though the Portuguese lost four galleots they 
wrought terrific havoc among the Dutch. In the evening the 
Dutch retreated thinking fresh succour had come to the Portu- 
guese, while it was only the pink that had gone in search of 
the running vessel. Gonsalves now joined Menezes with fifty 
ships and they arranged themselves in two squadrons. The 
fight commenced again and all throughout, the advantage was 
on the side of Portuguese, but at about sunset D. Francisco de 
Menezes fell struck with two musket balls. Ebbtide then set 
in and the fleets parted. The Victory was more on the side of 
the Portuguese than of the Dutch.* About two hundred Portu- 
guese died and were buried in the sea. The Portuguese sailed 
back to Sandwip and D. Luiz de Azavedo who had succeeded 
Menezes in command, returned with his squadron to Goa in- 
spite of Gonsalves's repeated requests not to do so. Many 
of Gonsalves's men took this opportunity to abandon him and 
returned with D. Luis de Azavedo to Goa. In the following 
year (1616) Gonsalves being quite abandoned by many of his 
followers, the King of Arakan invaded Sandwip, defeated 
Gonsalves and took possession of the island besides some- 
other islands in the Sundarbans. Gonsalves was, as Faria y 
Souza says, reduced to his former miserable condition. 

In estimating the character of Sebastiao Gonsalves one 
cannot ignore from what beginnings he rose to be a potentate, 

whose alliance was sought for by the 
Character of Gonsalves . , . , . 

ruling princes of Bengal, though more from 

* L. S. S. O'Malley says in the Chitta%ong Gazeteer p. 28^ that the 
Portuguese were defeated by the Dutch. This is inaccurate accord- 
ing to the Portuguese historians. The roost that can be said is that the 
victory was indecisive. 

1 5 6 


fear of his power than from a friendly feeling for him as a ruler. 
He was an adventurer, unscrupulous and remorseless. But he 
was not, as he is supposed to be, a pirate, in the strict sense of 
the word. He committed at the outset of his career some 
piratical raids on the coast of Arakan, but it was in revenge for 
the massacre of Dianga. There is no evidence that during the 
eight or nine years of his rule (1607-1616) in Sandwip, he 
fostered piracy. However, many of his treacherous acts stain 
his character with the darkest blots. As in Rob Roy of old, 
wickedness and worth are often curiously blended together. It 
is wonderful, indeed, how Gonsalves was able maintain his sove- 
reignty, beset as he was with such powerful enemies as the Mu- 
ghals and the King of Arakan, not to speak of the chiefs of the 
other principalities that lay near his kingdom. Referring him- 
self to Faria y Souza's remarks that the kingdom of Gonsalves 
passed like a shadow, that his pride was humbled and his 
vileness punished, H. Beveridge justly makes the following 
observations,* " such are the unsympathising remarks of the 
Portuguese historian about a man who at least possessed 
vigour and ability, and who owed his fall in great measure 
to the impetuosity of the Portuguese officer who was sent 
from Goa to assist him, but who was too proud or too rash to 


co-operate fully with him. The Viceroy was also to blame, 
for he directed his officer not to wait for Gonzales. We can- 
not but think that if Gonzales had been an Englishman and 
his historian of the same nationality, we would have heard a 
great- deal about Anglo-Saxon energy, the Barseker-spirit 
and the Vikings." If D. Luis de Azavedo had, indeed, co- 
operated with Gonsalves and had not sailed back to Goa, the 
the fate of the Portuguese possession of Sandwip might have 
been different. Incidentally, the dispersal of the Portuguese 
in Eastern Bengal and Arakan would not have taken place if 

• District of BAkarganj, p. 38. 


they had not lost their possession of Sandwip, and thus no 
occasion would have arisen for them to live mainly by piracy, 
which has sullied their name. 

From the time of the fall of Gonsalves upto 1665, trie 
history of the Portuguese in Eastern Bengal is a history of 
pi the Portuguese in their worst form. The 

T e Rise oj acy ^ ^ Gonsalves did not mean the end of 

his men. The vast rivers of Bengal and their banks became 
their homes. Schooled as they were not to recognise any law 
or authority, they sought the means of subsistence in plundering 
and piracy. Arising as a necessity, piracy eventually became an 
art, a trade. It was a time, morever, when plundering was 
generally accepted as the best method of avenging wrongs, 
real or supposed and of punishing the enemy. The Afghan 
Kings of Bengal, the Kings of Arakan and of Tippera 
ravaged one another's territories without the least scruple. 
But this game was generally carried on from land. The 
Portuguese introduced a new element with their fast 
sloops and newer methods of ship-building, so that depreda- 
tions began to be carried more from the sea and the rivers of 
the delta. The Portuguese were neither the originators of 
these nefarious practices nor the only culprits. The Mughals 
themselves indulged in them and the Arakanese or the Maghs 
were the greatest of all plunderers. Wonderful legends connect- 
ed with the famous pirate and bandit Dilal Khan are still 
current in Sandwip. He is said, however, to have protected the 
poor, though he plundered the rich* It was Husain Bey, the 
general of Shaista Khan who eventually captured Dilal Khan 
and confined him in a prison at Dacca, where he ended his 
days. Still more striking is the story of the English free-booter 
J. Shepherd, who made the Sunderbans the scene of his 
piratical exploits until he was arrested and banished for life 
only a few years ago. 

* J. E. Webster, Noakhali Gazetteer \ pp. 19-20. 

t 5 8 


An event occurred in 1638 which gave an additional impe- 
tus to the game of piracy in its most frightful form. Ever 

since the Mughals had made themselves 

masters of Be "g aI » the y were tent upon 
conquering Chittagong from the King of 
Arakan and, if possible, the whole of his kingdom. A favour- 
able opportunity arose in 1638. Matak Rai, the Governor of 
Chittagong rebelled against the King of Arakan, named 
Islam Khan Mushaddi, and acknowledging himself the vassal 
of the Mughal Emperor handed over Chittagong, though 
nominally to the Mughal Governor of Bengal. This action of 
the Governor of Chittagong did not materialize into anything, 
but it served to light up the fire of a long-standing enmity. 
To revenge on the Mughal kingdom of Bengal, the King of 
Arakan made friends with the Portuguese adventurers, took 
them into his service, paid them high salaries and settled 
them in Dianga. With their help he built vessels large 
enough to carry cannon. Thus equipped he began ravaging 
and laying waste the Mughal territory, and extended his 
depredations even up to Dacca. These cruel practices of 
the Arakanese and the Portuguese, to which the people of 
Bengal were subjected, continued till 1665 when Shaista Khan 
conquered Chittagong and broke their power for ever. 

Various statements have been made to the effect that all 
the Portuguese in Bengal were generally pirates or adven- 
turers, and even to-day in the folk tales 

£5u£% Relati0m of Ben S aI the name of the Portuguese 

is always associated with piracy. Nothing 
could be farther from the truth, than a generalized statement 
of this kind. It was only the Eastern and not Western Bengal 
that was a haunt of the Portuguese adventurers. These men 
were taken into the employ of the Arakanese who in conjunction 
with them devastated the southern part of Bengal, especially 
the Sunderbans. The Portuguese of Western Bengal were quite 


a different section. In the Hooghly river there were, however, a 
few Portuguese pirates about twelve miles above the Saugor 
Island whence the river or one of its branches at that part of its 
course was known as the Rogue's River.* Their field of opera- 
tions was the coast of HljilT (Midnapore) and Orissa. These 
men who had leagued themselves with the Arakanese were not of 
the type of the Portuguese from Hooghly, but were outlaws and 
fugitives from Goa and other Portuguese places. They were 
disowned by their own Government in Goa and were not re- 
cognized by their own brethren in Hooghly. It is true the 
Portuguese Viceroy sent help to Gonsalves, but then he was 
not a pirate but an independent prince who agreed to pay a 
yearly tribute of a ship of rice to the King of Portugal, in 
return for the help received. Even before Gonsalves and his 
troops had taken to buccaneering, Stephen Palmeyro who was 
an aged and a genuine type of Portuguese, refused to command 
them because they had committed a few justifiable depreda- 
tions on the coast of Arakan out of revenge pn the massacre 
of the Portuguese in Dianga. Ruy Vaz Pereira who saw in 
Chittagong a Moorish ship, built after the Portuguese fashion, 
being used in privateering, seized it because such practices 
would unjustly sully the name of the Portuguese.! 

An excellent example of how different the real Portu- 
guese in Bengal were from the adventurers in the Sunderbans, 

was afforded on the very coast of Bengal. 

JbmafJeT' Nuno da Cunha, the Portuguese Gover- 

nor, gave in 1 531, to Damiao Bernaldes 
a license for a voyage to Bengal.} After rounding the Cape 
Comorin he turned a corsair and in Nicobar captured a Moorish 

* A Hamilton, A New Account of the East Indies, Vol. II, p. 3. 
Also vide, Yule, Hobson-Jobson s. v. Rogue's River. 

t Vide pp. 30-31. 

% Castanheda, Historia, Vol. VIII, p. 46. Also Correa, Lendas Vol. 
Ill, p. 446, 



ship worth £gooo. Nuno da Cunha, on hearing of this, asked 
Khajeh Shiab-ud-din, who as already said * was a friend of 
the Portuguese, to seize Bernaldes when he landed in Chitta- 
gong or else to kill him and his crew on the spot. There were 
then seventeen Portuguese vessels in Chittagong which in con- 
cert with Khajeh Shiab-ud-din awaited the arrival of Bernaldes. 
When this pirate actually arrived they did him no harm im- 
mediately, believing that he would ask for pardon and give up 
his mode of life. Far from doing so he seized a influential Moor 
and though his men who had landed were captured, he refused 
to exchange this Moor with his men except for a ransom 
of £2000. The Portuguese spared no efforts to capture 
him and he was at last caught in their settlement of Nega- 
patam, sent to the Governor in Goa in chains and banished for 
ten years, during which he died. Such was the punishment 
accorded by the Portuguese to the pirates. When the Portu- 
guese became the masters of the whole Bay and rivers of 
Bengal they indeed, enforced their principle of not allowing 
any ships to sail without their passes but they granted these 
passes freely and these ships were absolutely safe except when 
they fell into the hands of the adventurers lurking at the mouths 
of the Ganges. Even the Muhammadan historian Khan* Khan 
gives the credit to the Portuguese while he has much to complain 
against the English. Speaking generally of the Portuguese he 
saysf "On the sea they (Portuguese) are not like the English ; 
and do not attack other ships, except those ships which have not 
received their pass according to rule, or the ships of Arabia or 
Maskat with which two countries they have a long-standing en- 
mity, and they attack each other whenever opportunity occurs. 
If a ship from a distant port is wrecked and falls into their hands 
they look upon it as their prize." The author of the Badskah- 

* Vide p. 33. 

t Elliot, Hist of India, Vol. VII, p. 344. 


namd has another story about the Portuguese. He says* "The 
village and districts of HugH were on both sides of the river 
and these the Europeans got possession of at a low rent. Some 
of the inhabitants by force, and more by hopes of gain, they in- 
fected with their Nazarene teaching and sent them off in ships 
to Europe. In the hope of an everlasting reward, but in reality 
of an exquisite torture, they consoled themselves with the 
profits of their trade for the loss of rent which arose from the 
removal of the cultivators. These hateful practices were not 
confined to the lands they occupied, but they seized and 
carried off every one they could lay their hands upon along 
the sides of the river." This contrasts very strongly with 
what Khafi Khan says about the Portuguese. The passage 
in the Bddshahnama is really based upon the report of Kasim 
Khan whom Shah Jahan had sent with preconceived ideas 
against the Portuguese and who in spite of his constant and 
minute watching could not find any casus belli for four years to 
overthrow their power. In this report the charge of piracy 
and aggressions was, however, levelled only against the Portu- 
guese of Eastern Bengal, while it accused the Portuguese of 
Hooghly of fortifying themselves, of drawing away all the 
trade from Satgaon and of having committed many acts of 
violence, presuming to exact duties from all the boats and 
vessels which passed their factory .f It is true, the Portuguese 
of Hooghly had grown insolent and haughty but they cannot 
be said to have been pirates. Writers who have never cared to 
differentiate the real Portuguese from the outlaws of 
Sunderbans have made sweeping generalizations against them 
al]. Far from being pirates, the Portuguese of Hooghly pro- 
mised Akbar and also Jahanghfr to stamp out piracy and 
agreed to keep the Bay clear of the pirates that nestled 

* Elliot, Hist, of India Vol. VII. p. 32. 
t Stewart, History of Bengal, pp. 266-267. 


there. They did not however keep their word. Yet it must 
be said they did not in general indulge in the very thing they 
had promised to extirpate. 

As to the Portuguese in Eastern Bengal in the seventeenth 
century no amount of vituperation and invectives would be too 

strong for them. As Manucci says* they 

p£*£ naU§ * ° f had reached the ve «y acme of evil doing 

and at one time even a priest named Frei 

Vicente acted as their leader. The horror of their practices can 
better be imagined than described. Yet they held a secondary 
place to the Maghs. Francois Bernier gives a very graphic 
account of them. He saysf "For many years there have always 
been Portuguese in the kingdom of Rukan ( Arakan) or Mog> and 
with them a great number of their Mestices or Christian slaves 
and other Franguis gathered together from all parts. This was 
the retreat of fugitives from Goa, Ceylon, Cochin, Malacca 
and all the other places once occupied by the Portuguese in 
the Indies. Those who had fled from their convent, who had 
married twice or three times, assassins — in a word, outlaws and 
ruffians, were here welcomed and held in repute, and led a 
detestable life, utterly unworthy of Christians, going so far as 
to massacre and poison each other with impunity, and to 
assassinate their own priests, who were often no better than 
themselves. The king of Rakan, in perpetual terror of the 
Mughal, kept these people for the defence of his frontier at a 
port called Chatigon (Chittagong) assigning them lands and 
letting them live and follow their own devices. Their ordi- 
nary pursuit and occupation was theft and piracy. With 
small and light half-galleys called galleasses they did nothing 
but sweep the sea on this side ; and entering all rivers, canals, 
and arms of the Ganges, and passing between the islands of 

• Storia do Mogor % Vol II, p. H7. 

f Bernier, Travels, Constable Ed. p. 174-175. The translation adopt- 
ed is from Calcutta Review 1871, Vol. LUI, pp. 65-66. 


Lower Bengal — often even penetrating as far as forty or 
fifty leagues into the interior — they surprised and carried off 
whole villages and harried the poor gentiles, and other 
inhabitants of this quarter at their assemblies, their markets, 
their festivals and weddings, seizing as slaves both men and 
women, small and great, perpetrating strange, cruelties and 
burning all that they could not carry away. It is owing to 
this that at the present day are seen so many lovely but 
deserted isles at the mouth of the Ganges, once thickly 
populated, but now infested only by savage beasts, principally 
tigers". It must be said to the credit of Bernier that how- 
ever bitterly he may vent his wrath on the Portuguese he 
acknowledged that the Portuguese who carried on these fright- 
ful depredations were outlaws, fugitives and ruffians, that fled 
to this convenient buccaneering haunt in the River Delta of 
Bengal from other Portuguese settlements. The practices 
referred to here by Bernier are correct but he ascribes them all 
to Feringhis while the fact is that the main offenders were the 
Maghs. In Rennel's map of Bengal published in 1794, the 
note "this part of the country has been deserted on account 
of the ravages of the Maghs", is written across the portion of 
the Sundarbans, south of Backarganj. Bolts refers to the 
Maghs alone and not to the Portuguese as plunderers of the 
Sunderbans.* The Sunderbans, at least the greater part of them, 
were never in a flourishing condition, and as it has been shown, 
the portion, south of Backarganj, was plundered more by 
the Maghs than by the Portuguese. Bernier continuing says 
that the Feringhis sold a part of their slaves in Goa, Ceylon, 
St. Thome and to the Portuguese of Hooghly, and that a part 
of them were converted to Christianity and were trained in 
theft, murder and rapine. He concludes that in spite of the 
strong militia and numerous bodies and guards and also a small 

* Bolts, Indian Affairs. 



naval armament of galleasses which the Mughals maintained, 
the Portuguese did not "cease to make frequent and strange 
ravages and to penetrate into the country, laughing at all this 
army of Mughals, having become so bold and so expert in the 
use of arms and in navigating these galliasses that four or 
five of their vessels would not hesitate to attack fourteen or 
fifteen of those of the Mughal — destroying, taking or sinking 
them, and coming off with flying colours."* The Muham- 
madan historian Shiab-ud-dln Talish gives a much more 
detailed account of the practices of the pirates in the Bay of 
Bengal and apportions the blame both to the Maghs as well 
as to the Feringhis, though the translation of Mr. Jadunath 
Sarkar is headed "The Feringi Pirates of Chatgaon".f 

No sooner was Shaista Khan appointed Viceroy of Bengal 
than he determined to invade Arakan and conquer Chittagong 

Shaista XhSn's Con- in ° rder t0 P Ut an end t0 the P iratical 
quest of Chittagong raids of the Arakanese and the Portu- 

(t66s66) guese and also to avenge the murder 

of his nephew Shah Shuja whom the King of Arakan had 

put to death when he had gone to take refuge there, after his 

defeat by his brother Mir Jumla.j Shaista Khan assembled a 

large fleet of 300 ships and an army of 13000 men. Abul 

Hassan was ordered with 200 ships in Sangrangar to oppose 

the Arakanese and the Feringhis. Muhammad Beg Aba- 

kash with 100 ships was to stay at Dhapa and re-inforce Abul 

Hassan when necessary. His own son Buzurg Umed Khan 

was appointed to command the army, consisting of 4000 

• Calcutta Review 1871, Vol. LI 1 1, p. 68. 

t / A. S, B, 1907, June, Vol. Ill, pp. 419-425. 

% In this short account of the conquest of Chittagong, I have 
mainly followed Shiab-ud-dln Talish's Fahiyyah-Ubriyyak (J. A. S. B. 
Tune, 1907) and the Alantprnama, ( Vide, an extract m M. A. Salam's 
Trans, of Rizazu-$*Salatin p. 229 et seq.). Cf. also Manucci's version of 
the Conquest of Chittagong, Storia^ Vol. II pp. 11 7- 118 and Bernier's 
version, Travels pp. 179-182. 


men, which was to march by land and co-operate with the 
fleet. Seeing that the conquest of Chittagong would be no 
easy task so long as the Portuguese defended it, Shaista Khan 
sent his officer Shaikh Zia-ud-din Yusuf to the Portuguese 
captain of the port of Hooghly, requesting him to write to the 
Portuguese of Chittagong to desert the King of Arakan and 
enter his service and offering them a large grant of land where 
their families could form a colony. He promised imperial 
favours and offered much better terms than those granted by 
the Raja of Arakan. The Portuguese gladly accepted the terms, 
but according to the Alamgirnama, all the Feringhis did not 
desert the Raja. Some of them informed the Raja of Arakan 
about the desertion and he planned to murder them all. The 
Alamgirnama says that some letters fell into hands of a Magh 
who communicated them to the King of Arakan. What 
followed is described in the Alamgirnama* : "The Feringis 
learning of [the intended Arracanese treachery] resisted and 
fought the Arracanese, burnt some of the ships of the latter 
and started for service in Bengal with all their goods and ships. 
On the 19th December 1665, fifty jalbas (Shiab-ud-din says 
42 Jalbas or Jaleas) of the Feringis full of guns, muskets and 
munitions and all the Feringi families reached Noakhali". 
As soon as the Feringhis left Arakan, Shaista Khan decided 
to attack Chittagong and, as Shiab-ud-din Talish says, consi- 
dered the coming over of the Feringhis as the commencement 
of the victory. They were taken, says Shiab-ud-din Talish, 
in the imperial army and liberally rewarded, but Bernier 
very unjustly remarks that Shaista Khan ill-treated them 
and put an end to those wretches.f The ablest of the 
Portuguese were chosen to take part in the campaign against 
the King of Arakan and the rest were sent to the Governor, 

* J. A. S. B. June, 1907, p. 408, n. 
t Bernier's Travels, pp. 181-182 



who allotted to them a large area, twelve miles south of 
Dacca, known as Feringhi Bazar, where still the Portuguese 
descendants reside.* 

Shiab-ud-din Talish gives a spirited account of what passed 
after the Feringhis left Chittagongf : "In December, 1665, the 
Feringis of Chatgaon, partly in fear of Arracanese treachery 
and partly won over by Shaista Khan's tempting overtures 
came with all their families in 42 jalbas and took refuge with 
Farhad Khan the Mughal thanadar of Noakhali. The Khan 
sent their chief, Captain Moor { with a few of their great men 
to Shaista Khan at Dacca, while he kept all the others with 
their ships a Noakhali, with great attention and kindness. 
The captain and other leaders of Feringis had audience 
of the Nawwab at night and received splendid robes of 
honour and other unexpected favours. The Nawwab asked 
them, 'What did the zeminder of Maghs fix as your 
salary ?' The Feringis replied, 'Our salary was the Imperial 
dominion ! We considered the whole of Bengal as our Jagtr. 

* Manucci has a different version, Storia t Vol. II p. 118. He says 
Shaista Khan sent for a Portuguese, named Antonio de Rego, who was 
in Hooghly and had a brother named Sebastiao Gonsalves in Chittagong. 
The Nawab paid Rego Rs 25,000 and Rs. 50,000 more for his brother 
Gonsalves in order to deliver Chittagong to htm. Gonsalves instructed 
Rego to send the Mughal fleet up to Sandwip. Chittagong was then 
captured without any loss of life. It would be interesting to know 
whether this Gonsalves was the same Sebastiao Gonsalves Tibau who 
had made himself Lord of Sandwip. He came to India in 1607 and if 
he was, say about 25 years old then, he would be about 83 years old in 
1665 and might have been living. But it is impossible that even till 
1665 he could wield such power in Sandwip and Chittagong as Manucci 
suggests. That the names of the two brothers are quite different is no 
evidence against the fact, because there are many instances in Portuguese 
history in which two brothers had no common names or surnames, the 
latter having been, perhaps, surpressed by the Portuguese historians. 

t / A. S. B. t June 1907, p. 425. 

X Both Shiab-ud-din Talish and the Alam^trnSma refer to the Portu- 
guese captain named "Moor". This is not a Portuguese name. Muham- 
madan historians have frightfully mutilated Portuguese names. Pedro 
Tavareshas been converted into Partab Bar {Vide p. 52), and Rodolfo 
into Radif in the Akbarn&md, The real name of captain Moor might 
have been Mouraoor Moraes. 


All the twelve months of the year we made our collection, [i.e. 
booty] without trouble. We had not to bother ourselves about 
atnlas and amtns ; nor had we to render accounts and balances 
to anybody. Passage over water was our [land] survey. We 
never slackened the enhancement of our rent viz. booty. For 
years we have left no arrears of [this] revenue. We have 
with us papers of the division of the booty village by village 
for the last forty years.' One can infer from this answer the 
condition of things and the weakness of the Governors of 
Bengal. The coming over of the Feringis gave composure 
to the hearts of the people of Bengal. Two thousand rupees 
were presented from the Nawwab's own purse as reward to 
Captain Moor and the other Feringis who had come from 
Chatgaon and from the Imperial treasury a monthly stipend 
of Rs. 500 was settled on the Captain, and other comfortable 
salaries on others of the tribe." 

The conquest of Chittagong by the Mughals and their 
mastery over the Sundarbans broke the power of the Portuguese 
adventurers and thenceforward they joined hands with the 
other Portuguese that were spread all over Bengal even after 
the siege of Hooghly, becoming peaceful civilians and mer- 
chants. They drove a peaceful trade and must have wielded 
* much influence and power especially in Chittagong oven up to 
1727, for Alexander Hamilton writes* : "The Mogul keeps a 
Cadjee or Judge in it (Chittagong) to administer Justice among 
Pagan and Mahometan Inhabitants but the Offspring of those 
Portugueze that followed the fortune of Sultan Sujah when he 
was forced to quit Bengal, are the domineering Lords of it". 
There is an earlier account of the Feringhis of Chittagong by 

* A New Account of the East Indies, Vol. II, Chap. 35. p. 25, Bernier 
{Travels p. 109) also mentions that when Shah Shuja was driven away 
from Bengal by Aurangzeb, he went to take refuge in Arakan in Galliasses 
manned by the Portuguese. He adds that the Portuguese robbed Shall 
Shuja of bis precious stones on the way. Hamilton betrays little know- 
ledge about the origin of the Portuguese of Chittagong. 


Fr. Barbier, a Jesuit missionary, who in 1723 describes in a 
letter to another Jesuit Father, an Episcopal Visitation by 
Rev. Fr. Francois Laines, Bishop of St. Thom£, Madras.* In a 
detailed description of the Feringhis and their customs, he 
says that they were divided into three colonies each having 
its Captain, its Church and its Missionary. They were held in 
great respect by the natives ; they carried arms and had mili- 
tary discipline and full liberty to celebrate the feasts in the 
same order and with the same solemnity as in Europe. The 
writer regrets, that Chittagong was not chosen in preference to 
Hooghly as the headquarters of the European (Portuguese), 
settlements. It is very interesting indeed to see that the 
Portuguese and their descendants had a sort of military 
discipline even in the eighteenth century. At this time, how- 
ever, the Portuguese in Eastern Bengal were mere mercenaries. 
Even till 1786 when Chittagong District was invaded by the 
Arakanese under a Peguan general, against whom Major 
Ellerber was sent, the Arakan army contained 500 Portuguese 

* This letter appearing in the Lettres Edifiantes gt Curieuses Vol. 
XI I L Paris 1781, has been translated by W. Firminger in Bengal Past 
and Present, 1910, Vol. VI, pp. 200-215. 

t O'Maltey, Chittagong Gazetteer, p. 39. 







Though the Portuguese Empire in the East has long ful- 
filled the grim destiny which rules the duration of nations and 

empires, they have left important vestiges 

General Outlines , . J,, ^ ° 

that no time can erase. The Portuguese 

have long disappeared from Bengal, but everywhere can be 
seen their various relics, eloquent in their silence, of departed 
power and glory. How many scenes that appear so fresh to- 
day have been wistfully gazed upon by the old navigators ? 
On how many ruins of their houses, have modern architects 
reared their proud edifices ? And equally so, how many places 
alive with the hum of the Portuguese and busy with their 
industries are desolate to-day ? It is not, however, the histori- 
cal remains of the Portuguese, as much as the silent forces 
which they have left behind that, though generally unknown, 
are all the more striking. 

The influence of the Portuguese in the East has not yet 
been adequately dealt with, though a lot has been written on 
the Portuguese navigators, their conquests and their heroic 
feats. The permanent Portuguese influence, largely working 
unkown, is felt in numerous walks of life in India. The Portu- 
guese were the first to establish an intimate contact between 
the East and the West. The first impressions of the East about 
the West were largely such as the Portuguese created. These 
impressions were, therefore, more profound and lasting than 
it is generally recognized. 

The Portuguese introduced in the East new methods of 
agriculture opened new industries, established new customs, 


taught a new religion and countenanced a policy of inter- 
marriages between themselves and the natives. The results of 
each of their sphere of activities are manifest to-day. The 
latter European comers often modified or sometimes amplified 
the work of the Portuguese, but they have not removed the 
traces of the original influence. Dr. Heyligers* recognises 
this Portuguese influence in the Indian Archipelago as an 
absolutely singular force in its history and traces it under the 
headings : population, race, customs and language. This is 
equally true of Bengal as of India in general. 

In Bengal, though there is a great tendency of self identi- 
fication with the ruling nation, the Portuguese stamp can be 
discerned on whatever they came in contact with. Their names, 
their blood, their institutions, their churches, their language 
and their archaeological remains, speak to-day of their domina- 
tion in Bengal. 

It was the principle laid down by the Portuguese from the 
time of Albuquerque that, in order to establish an affinity 

between Portugal and her dependencies, 
aJZ^lndiln?"' the Portuguese should give to the people 

under their influence the Portuguese 
names, the Portuguese religion, the Portuguese dress and even 
the Portuguese blood. Intermarriages between the Portuguese 
and Indians were also advocated by Albuquerque's successors. 
It must be said this privilege was considered a great honour 
and none but men of valour were allowed to marry Indian 
women of high families on their becoming Christian.! 

There was generally neither promiscuous nor illegitimate 
union between the Portuguese and the Indians. There must' 
have been certainly some abuses, and during the declining years 

* Traces de Portugais dans les principalis Ungues des Indes 
Orientates Neerlandaises s La Haye, 1889. 

f Commentaries of Affonso de Albuquerque, Hakl. Ed., Vol. Ill, 
pp. 41*4^* 


this policy was not rigidly followed, especially in Bengal where 
the piratical section of the Portuguese recognized no law nor 
principles of morality. The number of marriages between 
the Portuguese and Indians was enormous throughout India. 
"For already at this time" say the Commentaries* "there 
were in Goa about 450 married men, all servants of the King, 
Queen and of the Lords of Portugal and those who desired to 
marry, were so numerous that Afonso Dalboquerque could 
hardly grant their requests, for he did not give permission, 
except for the men of proved character, to marry." 

It cannot be ascertained how extensively this policy was 
followed in Bengal. All that is certain is that marriages 
between the Portuguese and the Indians were very common 
and that the converts were given Portuguese names on their 
becoming Christians. They were also named after the Portu- 
guese who became their sponsors. There was on the other 
hand a voluntary effort on the part of the Indians to identify 
themselves with the Portuguese. Lafitau mentions that many 
Hindus took Portuguese names like Albuquerque, only for the 
honour of it.f In Ceylon the pride of possessing Portuguese 
names is very remarkable. Emerson Tennent relates that while 
the Dutch feats in Ceylon have been buried in oblivion the 
chieftains of southern and western Ceylon perpetuate the 
Portuguese title of Dom and to their ancient patronymics 
prefix the sonorous names of the Portuguese.^ 

There are numerous communities of the Portuguese descen- 
dants all over Bengal. Some have identified themselves with 
the natives of the place. Others preserve their traditions 
of Portuguese parentage. Many have changed their names 

• Commentaries of A ffonso de A ttuquergnc, Hak Ed. t Vol HI, p. 41 
et seq. 

t Lafitau, Histoire dh De'couvertes des Portugais dans le Nouveau 

X Tennent, Ceyfon, an Account of the Island^ Vol. II, pp. 70-71. 



and form part and parcel of the Anglo-Indian community. 
In the eighteenth century the community of the Portuguese 
descendants was a distinct one. They are all called Portu- 
guese in the English records, in the accounts of the travellers 
in the Bengal Directories and by the historians. Many Indians 
who were given or took Portuguese names have been also 
called Portuguese. Hence much confusion has arisen in esti- 
mating the relative characters of the Portuguese race, those of 
their descendants and those of the Indians who identified 
themselves with the Portuguese. It is time, therefore, a proper 
denomination were given to the Portuguese descendants. They 
will be referred to in this work as Luso- Indians,* in contra- 
distinction to Anglo-Indians, by which name the descendants 
of the English are now called. 

The Portuguese influence in the East can most remarkably 
be seen in the extent their language has affected the Asiatic 
The Portuguese Lan- languages. As Dr. Schuchardt says,f the 

history of the Portuguese discoveries and 
conquests is the history of the propagation of the Portuguese 
language. It was the lingua franca throughout the East not 
only among the Portuguese and their descendants but among 
the different indigenous races and, what is more, among the 
Europeans of other nationalities, who followed the first con- 
querors. It was spoken all along the coast of India, in Mala- 
sia, Pegu, Siam, Tonquin, Cochin-China, Basra, Meca, and, 

* Lusitania is the classic name for Portugal. As first shown by Garcia 
de Menezes in the fifteenth century and then proved by Bernardo' de Brito, 
Lusitania was the Roman province of the Iberian Peninsula, and was 
identical with Portugal. Bernardo de Brito, therefore, claimed the great 
Viriatus as a Portuguese hero. The Portuguese are called the Lusian 
people jund Camoes named his immortal Epic Os Lusiadas. Hence 
Luso-Indians would be a proper denomination for the Portuguese 

t Beitrage zur Ktnntniss des kreolischen Romanisch Vol, V. 
(Quoted by Mons. R, Dalgado). 



in fine, wherever the Portuguese domination had extended * 
'•This they (the Portuguese) may justly claim" says Lockyer 
in I7ii,"f "they have established a kind of Lingua Franca in 
all the Sea- Ports in India, of great use to other Europeans 
who would find it difficult in many places to be well under- 
stood without it." Sixteen years later Alexander Hamilton 
found the Portuguese language still maintaining its hold in 
India. He writes, : "along the sea-coasts the Portuguese have 
left a Vestige of their. Language tho' much corrupted, yet it is 
the Language that most Europeans learn first to qualify them 
for a general Converse with one another, as well as with 
different inhabitants of India."\ 

What is still more remarkable is that the Portuguese lan- 
guage continued to be the medium of general converse long 
after the Portuguese power was extinguished. The Dutch 
also dominated great many eastern centres. But their lan- 
guage in the East disappeared with them and left no 
vestiges in the languages of the East. Emerson Tennent thus 
speaks of Ceylon,§ "Already the language of the Dutch which 
they sought to extend by penal enactments has ceased to be 
spoken even by their direct descendants, whilst a corrupted 
Portuguese is to the present day the vernacular of the middle 
classes in every town of importance." The reason why the 
Portuguese language exerted such an influence on the Asiatic 
languages was evidently that the Portuguese were the 
first Europeans who introduced new things in the East and 
along with them, the names which they called them by. 
Besides, they helped to bring about a better communication 
between the eastern trading centres, transmitting the eastern 

» Cunha Rivara, Grammatica de Lingua Concani. 

+ An Account of the Trade in India, p. 286. 

% A New Account of the East Indies, Preface p. xii. 

§ Tennent, op. cit. Vol. II p. 70. 



goods and customs from one place to the other. Thus one 
finds Chinese words like Cha (Tea) introduced in the Indian 
through the Portuguese language, and Arabic words like 
monsoon, typhoon in the Anglo-Indian vocabulary. 

The influence of the Portuguese language on the languages 
, of Bengal is very striking. The English,* the Bengali, the 
Hindustani, the Ooryia and the Assamese possess a vocabu- 
lary containing numerous Portuguese words. This is not, 
however, surprising as Portuguese was really at one time the 
lingua franca of Bengal, as will be seen in a separate 

The most vivid and apparent remains which bear testimony 
to the Missionary work of the Portuguese are their numerous 

Churches and Convents all over India. 
SjlffSZ*^ Excepting the doubtful remains of some 

Portuguese forts and factories, the Church- 
es are practically the only archaeological remains of the Portu- 
guese in Bengal. The factories of the Portuguese merchants 
have long disappeared and even the sites on which they stood 
are forgotten. The rich houses and proud edifices of the Portu- 
guese governors and grandees have crumbled into dust. But 
many of the Churches which the Portuguese Missionaries 
erected still exist in all their original grandeur commanding 
the respect and mystery of hoary antiquity. In Bengal, 
the old Portuguese Churches are not as numerous as in 
Western India. There was, however, scarcely any place of 
importance in Bengal where the Augustinians had not built 
their Churches. The oldest Christian Church existing, is in 
Bandel, Hooghly, and is still administered by the Portuguese 
Mission. Its origin dates back to 1599. There are various 
other Portuguese Churches in Bengal, which will be briefly 

* The Anglo-Indian words now current in the English language are 
referred to. 


dealt with in a separate chapter. As works of architecture, 
they compare very unfavourably with the majestic convents 
existing in Goa, which have been compared by foreigners 
with the best edifices of Europe.* 

It is not only in the number and the architectural beauty 
of the Churches, that the magnitude of the Portuguese Mission- 
aries can be seen. The vast number of Roman Catholics 
who existed in Bengal in the sixteenth and the seventeenth and 
even in the eighteenth centuries bear evidence to the missionary 
zeal of the Portuguese. The remains of these Roman 
Catholic communities still exist in many parts of Bengal. 

Many of the geographical names which the Portuguese 

gave to places in Bengal and were adopted by the later 

Europeans are no longer current. Porto 
Geographical Names _ .__ , T » «, v ^. 

Pequeno (Satgaon and Hooghly), Porto 
Grande (Chittagong), Ilha de Gallos (at the mouth of the 
Hooghly) are names only of historical interest to-day. They 
were at one time in general use and were used by Caesar 
Federici, Van Linschoten and even by the servants of the East 
India Company. Some geographical words such as Dom 
Manik Islands at the mouth of the Titulia in the Bakarganj 
District and Point Palmyras which is a headland on the 
Orissa coast, still survive. Feringhi Bunder in Chittagong 
and Fermghi Bazar in Dacca are also two places associated 
with the Portuguese. Bandel in Hooghly owes its name 
entirely to the Portuguese.-)- In a Portuguese Map in 

* Mandelslo {Voyages and Travels), Careri (Churchill's Voyages) 
Dr. Buchanan {Christian Researches in Asia) Dr. Wilson {Oriental 
Christian Spectator) Dr. Fryer {A New Account etc.) and others speak 
highly of the Goa Convents. 

t Bandel is a corrnption of bandar, a .wharf. The Portuguese termed 
several of their ports in the East, Bandels. Thus there is mention of 
the Bandel of Chittagong, the Bandel of Ormuz etc. Though the Bandel 
of Hooghly {Ugolim) was the original termination, the word Bandel 
gradually dissociated itself from Hooghly, and came to be regarded as a 
place or a town. 


Thevenot* "Uha de Martim Affonso de Mello" is marked on 
the coast of Arakan, and it was evidently so called in com- 
memoration of the feats of the Portuguese Captain.f The 
denomination does not seem to have been made use of by 
other European writers, and was probably confined to the 

Among various things which owe their existence in Bengal 
to the Portuguese, may be mentioned a good deal of plants 

introduced by them throughout India. 
P%Z£!*B?»&'*' Directly or indirectly, they have found 

their way to Bengal. It is worthy of 
remark that the first Indian botanical names were given by a 
Portuguese named Garcia de Orta in his celebrated work 
Colloquios etc. printed in Goa in 1 563. C. da Costa followed 
him with his Tratado, published in 1578. 

* Voyages Curieux, Vol. I, map facing p. 128. 
t Vide p. 31, et seq. 



(Luso- Indians) 

Among the various relics which the Portuguese have left 
in Bengal, the most notable are their descendants. It is very 
remarkable, indeed, that no nation of Europe has less egotism 
of race and a greater tendency to identify themselves with 
the indigenous people than the Portuguese nation. It is not 
surprising, therefore, that all over Bengal, in Calcutta, Dacca, 
Hooghly, Chittagong, Noakhali, Assam and other places 
there are communities having some connection or other with 
the Portuguese and possessing their names if not always their 
blood. The quite characteristic names of the Portuguese are 
borne to-day by many, many families in Bengal. As it is in 
the eighteenth century that the history of the Portuguese 
merges into the history of their descendants the following list 
of Portuguese families in Bengal from 1700 to 1900 is 
compiled from old Bengal Directories, and especially from old 
Catholic Church Registers* of births, marriages and deaths. 
Many of these names are quire common to-day and appear in 
the latest registers and visitors' books. Some names, however, 
which were common between 1700 and 1800 have died out. 
These names as they are found to-day are not in all cases 
strictly spelt as the ones in the list below. The connection 
between them is, however, obvious. In many cases the 

* The Registers of Bandel Church (Hooghly) do not date earlier 
than 1757 and those of Murgihatta Cathedral earlier than 1740. St. John's 
Church (Calcutta) Records also contain numerous Portuguese names 
which show that many Luso- Indians adopted the Protestant religion. 



Portuguese names have been Anglified or sometimes entirely 
changed so as to remove all trace of their Portuguese origin. 

The Goans, or the Goanese as they are termed in Bengal, 
must be differentiated from the Luso-Indians. The Goans 

are immigrants from Goa (Portuguese 
GoInL G ° am ° r tkt In dia) and have found their way to 

Bengal roughly from the beginning of 
the nineteenth century. As Goa is not an agricultural and 
industrial place, the Goans, especially in the humbler walks 
of life, meet the economic necessities by immigrating to 
British India. There are about a thousand Goans in Bengal 
at present, most of them (about 800) being in Calcutta.* They 
are not, in general, descendants of the Portuguese but are 
pure christianized Indians with Portuguese names and 
European customs and manners. Brought up with a close 
association with the Portuguese and in an atmosphere of 
four centuries of European civilization, the Goans are on the 
same social level as the Portuguese. However, some habits and 
institutions, like the caste system, characteristic of the Indian 
race, still linger among the Goans. The Goans have the same 
ideals and spirit of nationality as the Portuguese and possess 
equal rights of free citizenship with the latter. The names 
of the Goans, which are the same as the names of the Luso- 
Indians, have not been included in the following list of Luso- 
Indian names. 

* O'Malley's Census Report of Calcutta of rgti mentions 644, (619 
males and 25 females), as being born in the Portuguese Settlements #*. e. 
chiefly in Goa. Considering the number of Goans in Calcutta, who were 
born outside Goa, and the increase of their numbers since 191 r, the 
figure 800 is approximately correct. In the Census, those who entered 
themselves as belonging to the Portuguese nationality were 254. Almost 
all of these were certainly Goans, because the Luso-Indians entered them- 
selves as Eurasians or Anglo-Indians. Only 10 of them who gave 
Portugal as their birth-place may be said to have been European Portu- 
guese, though one or two Goans may have also been born in Portugal. 
It may be remarked that only S3 entered themselves as Goans, though 
298 mentioned Konkani (Goanese) as their language. 


Common Luso- Indian Surnames in Bengal* 

Arrftj D'Arrpti 


T^i cri 1 f»I rpd 0 

A ffnri cn 

iillUl lJ\J 



. Cenaculo 




At pantara 

HuvAIi i AI\A 












Costa, Dacosta 





A rcrottf* 



A rnaldri 





Cruz. deCruz 

X^/ i\ V> «^ t JL ^ X*' * x X# • 


"Rapt? ifTTn 





VJ UOtllClxS 



















Fern andes 








• The names printed in capital letters are quite common, at present, 
in Bengal. Some names like Alexander and Martins may not necessarily 
point to a Portuguese origin. 


Portuguese ta bengal 










Mello, de Mello 









Monte Sinaes 




Paiva, dePaiva 





Sa, DeSA or Dessa 






Silva, de Silva 



Souza, de Souza 









Common Luso- Indian Christian names in Bengal 










































Female Names 



















Anna Eulalia Paula 

Antonia * Izabel Phillipa 

Angelica Prezentina 
Apolonia Joanna 

Aurora Rita 

Leonora Rosa 

Catarina Luiza Rozalina 

Clara Luzia 


Dominga Margarida 

Maria Victoria 
Elizabeth Mariana 

All those who bear Portuguese names are not, however, 
the real descendants of the Portuguese, but most of them are 

pure natives, some of whom in the evolu- 

Differint Bhmstifs in t j on G f t j me m f xe( j with other races, some- 
/** Luso-Inatan Com- ' 
munitv times changing their names sometimes 

retaining them. As to the pure Portu- 
guese there are very few, and these have come recently 
as sailors or with some other occupations and have settled 
in Bengal The Census Report of 191 1 mentions only ten as 
being born In Portugal. In the Calcutta Review, Vol. LI 1 1, 
1 87 1, H. Beverley* makes mention of a family of real 
Portuguese descent, residing in Chittagong. The Portuguese 
descendants were first known as Feringhis; indeed the 
Portuguese themselves were so called. This name was 
once applied to the Crusaders and was an honoured name 
but now it is used in derision. These Feringhis and the 
native Christians afterwards began to be known as Topasses 
(from Topi, a hat) especially in Eastern Bengal At present, 
the Feringhis, the Native Christians and the heterogeneous 

* Tfo JkrvwAm of Chittagong, Cal Bw; 1871, Vol. LIU, p* 8a; 


mass of people living in the .slums of Calcutta, are called 
Kintalis (from Kintal, an enclosure). 

There are no reliable statistics in any of the Censuses or 
the Gazetteers with regard to this community. It is difficult 
to give any accurate statistical account, considering the 
heterogeneous elements this community is composed of. They 
are at present all classed as Eurasians or Anglo-Indians. It is 
almost impossible to differentiate the racial characteristics 
excepting where Mongolian blood has entered and a great 
part of these so-called "Anglo-Indians" is a promiscuous fusion 
of the Portuguese, English, Indians, East Indians, West 
Indians and Chinese. However, the section of the "Eurasians" 
associated with the Portuguese in some form or other may be 
divided into three main classes : — 

(1) Pure Indians, who are converts and bear Portuguese 

(2) True descendants of the Portuguese, who though they 
have freely mixed with other races, still maintain the 
Portuguese surnames if not the Christian names. 

(3) True descendants of the Portuguese who intermarried 
to a greater extent with the English descendants and 
who having changed their names into English names, 
have apparently lost all relation with the Portuguese. 

The bulk of the community consists of pure Indians who 
having been converted to Christianity were given Portuguese 

names and adopted the European dress. 
First group— Pur* The change of religion brought to a large 

Indians with Portuguese t> e> & o 

*amts extent the change of customs and a 

gradual association with the Europeanised 
population, made them lose most of the characteristics of 
the natives of India. Of course there are many Indian 
Christians who wear the dhoti, though they have Portuguese 
names* but they are not entered in the classification of the 
mixed community, as their national dress differentiates them. 


When the Portuguese came to Bengal, the slave trade was very 
rampant and was sanctioned by the Hindu and Muhammadan 
law. The Portuguese possessed a large number of slaves who 
were given Portuguese names. Many of them took Portuguese 
names when their masters died. The Portuguese mission- 
aries in Calcutta used to buy slaves who were packed in many 
vessels and shipped there, rather than see them bought by 
others and ill-treated. They used to baptise these slaves 
with Portuguese names and then sell them to Christian 
masters. Hence among the so-called Portuguese descendants, 
there was a vast majority of simple Indian converts or slaves 
converted to Christianity. These Indian Christians, who 
formed part and parcel of a mixed Portuguese community, 
talked in the Portuguese language just like the Portuguese or 
their descendants even up to the end of the eighteenth century, 
but towards the middle of the nineteenth century the English 
language began to be generally spoken though many Portu- 
guese words still survive. Their complexion is obviously as that 
of the ordinary Indian, and among their customs can be seen 
,the relics of their ancestors. There is no sharp line of distinction 
between this class and that of the true Luso-Indians because 
both these classes have intermixed and acted and reacted on 
each other. The arbitrary classification holds good in that the 
first group is mainly Indian in blood while the second has to 
a certain extent affinities of blood with the Portuguese. That 
the mixed Portuguese community is mainly Indian has been 
attested to by many authorities. Abbe* Dubois remarks :* 
"Most of them (Christians called Portuguese) have no more 
relation by birth, or otherwise, to the Portuguese or to any 
other European nation than to the Tartar Calmucks. They are 
partly composed of half-castes, the illegitimate offspring of 
Europeans and a few descendants of the Portuguese ; whilst 

* J. A. Dubois, State of Christianity in India % Load. 1823, pp. 75.76, 


l8 5 

the majority of them are the offspring of Hindoos of the lowest 
rank, who after learning some one of the European dialects 
put on a hat, boots and the European dress and endeavour 
to copy the European manners." It must be remarked that as 
to acquiring European manners; the conversion to Christianity 
contributes to it more than an effort to copy European and 
to wear a hat, boots and the European dress. Most of the 
customs that differentiate the Indian from the European have 
their origin in the difference of religious tenets that especially 
in the Hindu religion include social and hygienic principles. 
Once the bar is taken away the acquiring of European manners 
is natural, provided there are Europeans or Europeanised 
people to associate with. 

There is no sharp line of demarcation between the pure 
Indian members of the Luso-Indian community and the 

Indians could have had a pure Portuguese parentage or a 
parentage closely related to the pure Portuguese, for only one 
or two generations about two centuries ago, that is, up to the 
end of the seventeenth century after which very few Portuguese 
came to Bengal. After this period of time, the generations that 
followed were largely a result of intermixture among other 
Indian races and hence they have in general the Indian colour. 
During the last half of the eighteenth century and onwards, the 
servants of the East Indian Company and other Englishmen 
freely married with the descendants of the Portuguese,* and the 
resulting race naturally turned comparatively fair and this 
colour had been generally maintained as long as the marriages 
took place between fairer descendants. The representatives of 
this race are partly the fairerportion of the Anglo-Indians, many 

Second Group—True 
Luso- Indians 

descendants of the Portuguese. The two 
classes can scarcely be distinguished. 
Colour is no criterion because the Luso- 

• St. John's Church (Calcutta) Marriage Records show many names 
Portuguese or Luso-lndian ladies married to Englishmen. 


of whom have some Portuguese blood in them though they 
have not the Portuguese names. It is a mistake to suppose, 
as it has been done, that the descendants of the Portuguese 
naturally turned out dark while the descendants of the English 
turned out generally fair. In fact the opposite seems to be 
true if one observes the descendants of the real Portuguese in 
Goa among whom one can scarcely see a man of a dark com- 
plexion. Bishop Heber remarks in 1826* : "The Portuguese 
natives form unions among themselves alone, or if they can, 
with Europeans yet the Portuguese have, during a three hun- 
dred years residence in India became as black as Caffres; 
surely this goes far to disprove the assertion which is made that 
climate alone is insufficient to account for the difference bet- 
ween the Negro and the European." He seemed to have for- 
gotten that almost none of those he saw was a real Portuguese 
and that in almost all of them the original Portuguese paren- 
tage was reduced to an infinitesimal degree through succeeding 

The generality of the members of the mixed community 
had Portuguese names as well as surnames up to the middle 
of the last century, as can be seen from the tombs in the 
cemeteries of Bengal. Then gradually the Portuguese Chris- 
tian names began to be substituted by English Christian names. 
In modern times the tendency is to work a complete transmu- 
tation of name into an English or Anglicised one. It is this 
metamorphosis of names that offers the greatest difficulty in 
preparing a statistical account. 

As to the third group there is little definite that can 
be said. A good many Anglo-Indians who have English 
_ . . „ r names and who seem to have nothing in 

Third Group— Luso- 0 

indium with English common with the Portuguese have Portu- 
** mts guese blood in them, though generally 

they are not aware of it. English names have been adopted 

♦ Bishop ««6er, Msrrative <>f <* Journey etc. Vol; I, p. 54. 



for a long time past. The Portuguese name, Correa has been 
changed into Currie ; Leal changed into Lea by an easy drop* 
ping of the L; Silva into Silver; Souza into Sauseman; Gouvea 
into Govey and so on. Still more recently a radical change 
has been worked in the names and what was a Pereira is now a 
Johnson and what was Gomes is now a Fitz Patrick. The adop- 
tion of such names has probably followed either betterment of 
circumstances or the acquiring of a fairer complexion. On the 
other hand the change of name might have had some influence 
in bettering the circumstances. The adoption of English 
names has removed from many Anglo-Indians all trace of 
connection with the Portuguese. Besides Portuguese blood 
courses in the veins of some Anglo-Indians from the mothers' 
side, and of this no names, obviously, can give an indication. 

The Luso-Indian trade, as distinguished from the Portu- 
guese trade, roughly began with the dawn of the eighteenth 

century. The Luso-Indians held quite a 
Merchants 1 " a subordinate position in the commercial- 

activities of Bengal in comparison with 
the Dutch and especially the English who were rising on the 
tide of fortune. S. C. Hill remarks* that in the middle of the 
eighteenth century the Portuguese (i.e. Luso-Indians) in 
Hooghly chiefly traded as native merchants. The statement is 
exaggerated and has no evidence in the collection of letters of 
the English factors, which Hill publishes. Watts and Collet, 
in fact, wrote that "if the Nawab (Siraj-ud-daula) admitted the 
English into Calcutta, it would not be on better terms than 
the Portuguese and Prussians trade on."f 

The following Luso-Indian merchants are mentioned m 
the Calcutta Annual Directory and Almanac for 1806 : — 

Joseph Barretto, & Co., Antonio Rebeiro Pereira de 

*S. C Hill, bengal in 1756-57, Vol. I, p. t XXXIV. 
t Ibidem, Vol, I, p. 117. 



Almeida, Philip and John Da Cruz, Joachim Joseph Mendes, 
John D'Abreu, Lawrence Picachy, James Robertson, Diego 
Pereira, Mark and AXackersteen, Philip Leal. It is worthy 
of note that L. Picachy, J. Robertson and the Lackersteens 
have no Portuguese names at all, yet the Directory mentions 
them as Portuguese. Similarly in a list of Portuguese militia 
in the same Directory, there are English names like John 
Bateman, and William Armstrong. This shows very clearly that 
early in the nineteenth century, and perhaps even long before, 
the Luso-Indians had begun adopting English names. It is 
probable they assumed the surnames of their mothers who 
happened to be English descendants. It is also possible that 
the English descendants went about as Portuguese — a much 
better denomination than a half-caste, which was a common 
expression at that time. This explains the remark of Dr. 
Carey who writing from Serampore in 1 800 says that the 
children of the English, French, Dutch or Danes were all called 

Barretto and Company, was a firm of renown until recently. 
The vast sums of money that the proprietors of the Company 
m , „ have left for different charities are well- 

TkeBarrettos ^, , 

known. The munificence of the Barret- 

tos was, however, directed chiefly towards building Churches 
and endowing religious institutions. There is scarcely any 
old Church in or near Calcutta, which has not received some 
benefit from the Barrettos. Joseph Barretto was foremost 
among those who contributed to the enlarging of Murgihatta 
Church. The Dum Dum Chapel owes its origin to the Barret- 
tos. When the artillery regiment was first stationed there the 
Catholic soldiers could not find a better place than a small hut 
of thatch and straw, lent by a kind wi^ow, to assist their Sun- 
day services. Though the artillery commandant raised a 
general subscription in his regiment to which the Protestants 

Smith's Ufe of Carey p. 152. 



contributed freely, it fell short when Joseph Barretto came to 
the rescue. He, in fact, wanted exclusively to bear the cost of 
erecting the chapel. The first movement for building a Church 
in or near Boitakhana was initiated by Joseph Barretto. The 
Barretto family also built the Church of Santa Madre de Deus 
in Serampore. The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
Dharamtala, owes its origin to Pascoa Barretto who had 
married Thomas deSouza. Many people in Calcutta are 
aware of the interesting legends concerning the erection of 
this Church founded on the fact of Louis deSouza, uncle of 
Sir Walter deSouza, having fought a duel from the judicial 
consequences of which he was saved. Mrs. deSouza (Pascoa 
Barretto) had really made a vow that should her son 
be acquitted she would build and endow a Church on her 
own land. 

The de Souzas were other Luso- Indian merchants whose 
opulence is within the memory of many Calcutta citizens. The 

original firm was established in Bombay 
The deSomas and it carried on an extensive trade mainly 

in ivory, opium and Venetian beads. It 
had branches in China, France and Calcutta. The local firm 
was called Thomas de Souza and Company. The last repre- 
sentative of the firm was Sir Walter de Souza, whose intelli- 
gence allied to his munificence won for him laurels from various 
parts of the world. It must be mentioned his grandfather was 
born in Goa. Lawrence de Souza Junior, Sir Walter's half- 
brother, was no less famous for his charities, to which various 
educational institutions and Charity Homes still bear witness in 
Calcutta. Among other lesser charities in Calcutta, Lawrence 
de Souza Jr., who died in 187 1, bequeathed Rs. 3,00,000 to the 
Doveton College, Rs. 25,000 to the Free School ; Rs. 10,000 
to the Mayo Native Hospital ; Rs. 33,000 for a scholarship to 
enable East Indian lads to proceed to England to compete for 
the Indian Civil Service ; Rs. 15, coo for a scholarship in 


English literature tenable at the Doveton, and Rs. 2,00,000 to 
found the Home for East Indian widows and orphans, which 
is seen in Dharamtala Street. 

When in the seventeenth century the Portuguese power 
fell in Bengal, especially in Hooghly and in Chittagong, they 

and their numerous descendants either fol- 
Luso Indian Soldiers lowed their profession of traders or em- 

and Mercenaries tn the 

Eighteenth Century ployed themselves as mercenaries in the 

armies of the Bengal rulers. As a body, 
they do not seem to have engaged in military operations as 
they did during the memorable sack of Calcutta and Hooghly 
in 1756 in which 'they played an important though secondary 
part. In the East India Company Records, they are all , 
called Portuguese though they were, mostly, Luso-Indians. It 
may be well to recapitulate the events of this period so as to 
bring out clearly the part played by the Luso-Indians. 

On Nawab Aliverdi Khan's death in April 1756, his grand- 
son Siraj-ud-daula succeeded to the throne of Bengal. Scarce- 
ly twenty years old, profligate but strong-willed, he at once 
showed his hostility towards the English, by refusing to accept 
a present which they had sent him and appointing a spy 
Rajaram to watch their movements in Calcutta. Bent on 
ousting the Europeans from his kingdom he first directed his 
attention to the English. On the ground that the English 
had built some fortifications, that they had abused their privi- 
leges of trade and that they had protected the servants of his 
Government, whom he wished to be surrendered — grounds 
that were in a large measure true, he declared war against the 
English. He plundered the English factory of Cossimbazar 
taking all the English officers prisoners, among whom was 
Warren Hastings. At the head of 50,000 men he began his 

rapid march to Calcutta covering 160 miles in eleven days.* 

1 — . 

* These facts are mainly based on the East India Company Records 
published in S. C. Hill's JBtngeU in I756-S7- 


Strangely enough there were about 200 Luso-Indians in 
Sirfij-uddaula's army as well as in the English garrisons. The 

Nawab's artillery, consisting of French- 
Luso-indiam in the men anc j Luso-Indians, was commanded 

English and in the 

NawaPs Armies by a French renegade who styled himself 

Le Marquis de St. Jacques. The English 
militia under arms on the 8th June numbered 250. The letter-of 
Watts and Collet to Council Fort George, and Drake's account 
say that out of the 250 men of the garrison 70 were 
English and a great part of the remaining 180 were Portu- 
guese (Luso-Indians) and Armenians.* These were placed 
under the command of Captain Minchin and Lieutenant 
Bellamy. The English who most feared the attack of the 
Nawab's artillery, consisting of Frenchmen and Luso-Indians, 
sent through some priests three letters asking them to desist 
from fighting on the side of a Moorish ruler but they replied 
they had no other choice. 

Siraj-ud-daula forced the Mahratta Ditch and on the 17th 
June was entering the town of Calcutta burning and pillaging 

everything before him. The English were 
The Luso-Indians seldom so panic-stricken as they were on 

t£&?JX*& this occasion - The Luso-Indian «d the 
Hole Tragedy Armenian soldiers scarcely knew what 

they were about. Drake, Holwell and 

Baillie had great difficulty in persuading the British themselves 

to take up arms and, as Holwell says in his letter, among the 

European militia there were few "who knew the right from 

the wrong end of their pieces."f The British women were 

admitted in the Fort and as the Luso-Indians and the 

Armenians refused to fight unless their families were also 

safely lodged in the Fort, they were allowed to "crowd into 

• S. C. Hill, op. at,, Vol. I. p. lxviti and p. 129. 
t S. C. Hill, op. at., Vol. II. p. a8. 


it to the number of thousands." The women and children 
were eventually placed on board the English vessels which 
steered two miles down the river. Meanwhile the Nawab had 
broken through the lines of defences surrounding the Fort. 
Drake, the Governor of the Fort and Captain Minchin jumped 
into the two boats that were remaining and basely deserted 
their comrades in the Fort. The angry soldiers and officers 
elected Holwell, a civilian, their leader and resolved to hold 
out to the last. There were 170 men capable of defence be- 
sides the Luso- Indians and the Armenians. But they could not 
hold out long. On June 20th the Fort capitulated. Holwell was 
brought to the Nawab in bonds but the latter released him 
and promised him and the prisoners his protection. The joy of 
the prisoners was great but it was soon dispelled. The great 
tragedy of the Black Hole (doubted by some) was to close 
round them. Its description is irrelevant. What is of interest 
is that Holwell refers to the Portuguese (Luso- Indians) who 
were among those ghastly forms that perished in the Black 
Hole.* Captain Grant in his account, dated 13th July 1756 
confirms Holwell and says : "They were put into the Black 
Hole, a place about 16 feet square, to the number of 200 
Europeans, Portuguese and Armenians of which many were 
wounded."! The Luso- Indians who escaped took refuge in 
Chandernagore. A letter from Watts and Collet, dated 7th 
July 1756, says that the French Government and Council 
maintained in Chandernagore by charity 3,000 poor Portu- 
guese men, women and children, who were inhabitants of 
Calcutta.} The names of the Luso-Indians who died in the 
Black Hole are not spared to posterity. However, in the 
Mayor's Court Proceedings, 3rd May 1757, it is said One 

• S. C. Hill, op. cit^ Vol. III. p. 153. 
t S. C. Hill, op. a'i t Vol I. p. 88. 
X S. C. Hill, op. cit. % Vol. I. p. 59. 



Maria Cornelius died during the siege and in the western aisle 
of the Bandel Church there is a tombstone of one Elizabeth 
de Sylva, with a Latin inscription to say that she died on 2ist 
November 1756, aged 22 years from the troubles and infirmity 
arising from the war of the Moors against the English. 

After driving the English from Calcutta and re-naming the 
town Alinagar, Nawab Siraj-ud-daula marched on the 25th 

June against their settlement of Hooghly, 

^The Sack of Hotghly, ^ ^ tQwn u ^ nQt Qnly 

the English who suffered. He demanded 
twenty lakhs of rupees from the Dutch who had a settlement 
in Chinsura. Rather than pay this huge sum of money the 
Dutch prepared to abandon their town altogether. Through 
the intercession of Coja Wasjid the sum was reduced to 44- 
lakhs but the Dutch being unable to pay even this amount 
the Seths, the famous merchants, advanced it to them. The 
French were forced to pay to the Nawab 3^ lakhs of rupees, 
the Danes Rs. 25,000, and the Prussians, or Emdeners as they 
were called, Rs. 5,000. The Portuguese or the Luso- Indians 
of Bandel had also to pay their toll of Rs. 5,000.* The 
amounts of money paid by the different nations, evidently 
indicate their relative commercial prosperity and importance. 
Though the Luso- Indians paid the least yet it is clear that 
in spite of not enjoying any privileges as they had enjoyed 
before or as the Dutch, the English and the French enjoyed 
at the time, their commercial activities had not ceased in 
Bandel. After playing this terrible havoc among the 
European settlers, Siraj-ud-daula wrote to the Emperor of 
Delhi in glowing terms priding himself upon "the most glori- 
ous achievement in Indostan since the days of Tamerlane."t 
The reply to this message was given by the guns of Clive 

* S. C. Hill, op. cit y Vol. I, p. 306 
t Orme Mss. t India Vol. II, p. 79. 



who, it may be added, knew no Indian language, but could 
speak Portuguese fluently and commanded his native troops 
in the Portuguese language. 

Since Give laid the foundation of the British Empire in 
India on the fields of Bengal, the Luso-Indians, numbered 

L I d'an MTt' amon S t * ie English forces. A Luso- 

Indian Militia (in the Directories called 
Portuguese Militia) was maintained in Calcutta even in the 
last century. The Calcutta Annual Directory and Almanac 
for 1806 gives the names of the Portuguese officers in the 
Portuguese Militia which corresponded to the present or 
rather the recent Volunteer Battalions and was created for the 
defence of Calcutta : — 

Captains : John Bateman, William Jackson, Mathew 
Louis, Louis Barreto. 

Lieutenants : Courtney Smith, William Armstrong, Law- 
rence Picachy, James Robertson, Mathew Mendes. 

Ensigns: Charles Leal, John de Faria, Joseph Pereira, 
William Mendes, Charles Cornelius. 

All these gentlemen got their commissions in 1799 except^ 
the first three who got them in 1788. It is strange to find 
such English or non-Portuguese names as John Bateman, 
William Jackson, Courtney Smith, Lawrence Picachy and 
James Robertson in the list of the officers in the Portuguese 
Militia. It cannot be said these men were Englishmen or 
Anglo-Indians attached to the Portuguese militia for the 
names of some of the same gentlemen (James Robertson, 
Lawrence Picachy) appear in the list of Portuguese Merchants 
in the same Directory. Obviously they were Portuguese, i. e. t 
Luso-Indians with English names. 

The mode of living of the Luso-Indians in places like 
Calcutta does not differ from that of the Anglo-Indians, with 

whom they are often indistinguishably 
LusP' Indian Lift m ixed. The well-to-do portion of the 



Luso-Indians have all their habits in common with the 
well-to-do Anglo-Indians. The poorer classes of the Luso- 
Indians in common with the poorer classes of Anglo- 
Indians, of Europeans, of Native Christians and of many 
other races, live the slum life of Calcutta in hopeless misery 
and degradation. These inhabitants of the slums are called 
Kintalis (from Quintal, Kintal, an enclosure), as their dwelling 
places consist of a courtyard, round which is built a hut, 
divided into a number of rooms, each about eight feet square, 
in which a family drags out its melancholy existence. 

It is worthy of note, however, that in the last century, 
especially in its earlier decades numerous Luso-Indians held 
important appointments in the public offices of Calcutta as 
can be seen from the old Bengal and Calcutta Directories. 
Even to-day many Luso-Indians hold important positions, 
but most of them do not bear any Portuguese names and are 
recognized as Anglo-Indians. Generally speaking, it cannot 
be said that as a class the Luso-Indians are faring much 
worse than the Anglo-Indians in the struggle for existence, 
because the Luso-Indians in flourishing circumstances have 
merged into the community of the Anglo-Indians. Excepting 
the "Kintal" people, the Luso-Indian mode of living is 
generally like that of the Anglo-Indian, that is to say, like 
that of the European, and requires no description. 

The Feringhis of Eastern Bengal have in general dis- 
tinct characteristics of their own.* They are entirely or chiefly 

Indian in blood and are known as Kala 
In Eastern Bengal Feringhis or Matti Feringhis. H. Beverley 

thus described the appearance of the 

* Most of the Feringhis of Eastern Bengal are not descendants of 
the Portuguese but are pure Indian Christians with Portuguese names. 
Hence I have not called them Luso-Indians. These Feringhis are des- 
cendants of about 30,000 Indian converts who were baptized by the 
Portuguese Missionaries in the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. 
{Vide infra.) 


1 96 


Feringhis of Eastern Bengal in 1871 : "In appearance the 
Feringhee is darker than the Hindustani, his complexion 
having a brownish tint. His hair is black and shiny. The 
men are short, thin, flat-chested and generally ill-made. 
When industrious, they can get through twice as much work 
as a native but their industry cannot be depended on. The 
girls are occasionally handsome. At Christmas, Easter and 
other great feasts, they exhibit their fondness for dress in 
bright-coloured damask garments. The hideous effect, how- 
ever, is partially atoned for by the graceful white veil which 
rests on the head and falls mantilla-fashion to the ground."* 
Some Feringhis of Chittagong hold appointments in the 
public offices. True to their ancient traditions some Feringhis 
follow the sea-faring life. Many can also be seen in agri- 
cultural occupations. Though they are Portuguese in name 
and Christian by religion, there are various native customs 
and pagan rites among them. Their baptism ceremonies 
include the performances of the Skatuara, just as well as the 
creating of a Padrino or a Madrina (god-father and god- 
mother). The child is christend not only with the Christian 
name but sometimes with the Skatuara name. Similarly in the 
marriage and funeral ceremonies, can be discerned the relics 
of their ancestral Hindu or Muhammadan origin. L. S. S. 
O'Mailey summarizes some of the customs of the Chittagong 
Feringhis in his Bengal Census Report of 191 1 : "In Chittagong 
they form connections with Magh and Musalman women, 
but do not marry them unless they are baptized. The chil- 
dren inherit the names of their fathers, whether they are the 
offsprings of concubines or not ; if illegitimate, public ac- 
knowledgment by the parents entitles them to aliment and 
recognition. In manners and habits they resemble natives, 
and they are even darker in colour. Their religion, dress and 

* Beverley, The Feringhees of Chittagong^ Cal. Rev. 1871 Vol. 53. 



names are practically the only things that distinguish them 
from their neighbours. They adopt English Christian names 
but the surnames are still Portuguese, such as DeBarros, 
Fernandez, DeSouza, DeSilva, Rebeiro, DeCruz, DaCosta 
Gonsalvez etc."* 

Most of the Feringhis residing in Noakhali are culti- 
vators or domestics. Though there is very little Portuguese 
blood in them, they proudly retain their Portuguese names, 
though these have undergone many changes, a Fernandes 
having become Foran and a Manoel having become Manu.f 
Some of them however are known by Bengali names and do 
not know that they had Christian names, which causes many 
difficulties when their marriages are celebrated according to 
Christian rites. Beveridge gave a brief description of the 
Feringhis of Bakarganj forty years ago, which is no less true 
to-day. He says, "The Feringhies of Sibpur, (Bakarganj 
District) as they are called, are less numerous and less pros- 
perous than they were half a century ago. They support them- 
selves chiefly by going about to Mahomedan marriages and 
firing off feux de joie. They are also employed by the villagers 
to kill pigs, and some hold appointments in the police. They 
are indisposed to agriculture or other regular industry, and 
they are about as ignorant and superstitious as their Bengali 
neighbours. The only thing for which I can heartily praise 
them is the great neatness and cleanliness of their homesteads. 
Probably, however, the want of cattle or agricultural imple- 
ments has something to do with this. They have adopted 
the Eastern notions about the seclusion of women, and do not 
like to give their daughters any education."}: In Bakarganj 
there have, however, been very flourishing Feringhis. One 
Domingo de Silva made a large fortune in the rice trade and 

* L. S. S. O'Malley, Bengal Census Report' % 191 1 p. 218. 

f Noakhali Gazetteer, p. 34. 

t Beveridge, the District of BAkarganj* p. no. 


was one of the leading talukdar'm Buzurgumedpur. He re-built 
the Shibpur Church which was originally built by one Pedro 
Gonsalves. Among other leading talukdars in Buzurgumed- 
pur, Beveridge mentioned Bagdeshwar (Balthazar) Johannes 
and Thomas Gomes, 

It will be seen from what has been said that in a 
city like Calcutta, civilization has levelled Luso-Indians and 
Anglo-Indians in general to the same social status with a 
chiefly European mode of living, while in Eastern Bengal the 
representatives of the Portuguese are the Feringhis, most of 
whom are pure Indian Christians with Portuguese names, 
having distinct characteristics as a whole, and exhibiting a 
mixed picture of the Indian and the European. 

The materials for a statistical account of the Luso-Indians 
are scarce and sometimes unreliable as the accuracy of the 

Censuses that have been taken from time 

^Indian Statistics, tQ t j me largdy depended on the whims 

and the inclinations of the people, especi- 
ally of mixed descent. The figures in the earlier Censuses 
may be considered to be approximately correct, as the iden- 
tity of the Luso-Indians, spoken of as Portuguese, was not, 
as it is to-day, in a large measure lost in the process of the 
generalised miscegenation such as occurs in Calcutta.* 

In F. W. Birch's Census of 1837 the number of Portuguese 
(t. e., chiefly Luso-Indians) in Calcutta was given as 3,181. 
Besides these, 4,746 Eurasians were mentioned. Chick's 

* The term Luso-Indians is not used here as synonymous with Ftrin- 
ghis % which is adopted by the Censuses and Gazetteers, and includes not 
only the descendants of the Portuguese but also pure Indian ChrUtians 
with Portuguese names. The Feringhis of Eastern Bengal are almost en- 
tirely Indian Christians converted by the Portuguese missionaries and 
cannot be called Luso-Indians which is a term adopted in this work to 
denote the Portuguese descendants or a community having generally some 
Portuguese blood in them. It is true, however, that the line of demarca- 
tion is broad, and that there are some Luso-Indians among the Feringhis 
of Eastern Bengal just as there are Feringhis among the Luso-Indians 
of Calcutta. 



Census of 1872 mentioned 252 European Portuguese as resid- 
ing in Calcutta. The figure is evidently incorrect. Only 
four years after (1876) H. Beverley took a Census of 
Calcutta which was much more scrupulous and accurate. In 
this Census the Luso-Indians, or Indo-Portuguese, as Beverley 
called them, were differentiated into a separate community 
and not included among the Eurasians or Indo-Europeans as 
it was done in the succeeding Censuses. The number of the 
Luso-Indians given was 707, and only 5 Portuguese were men- 
tioned as resident in Calcutta. The total of the Eurasians 
numbered 10,566. A curious fact in this Census is that one 
Smith and one Campbell entered themselves as Spaniards. 
That the number of the Luso-Indians, which was 3,181 in 
1837, (Birch's Census) dwindled down to 707 in 1876, is 
explained by the fact that they identified themselves 
gradually with the Eurasians or Anglo-Indians of the present 
day. In 1881, H. Beverley took another Census of Calcutta 
and its Suburbs, in which 19 were mentioned as having been 
born in Portugal, 261 as speaking the Portuguese language 
and 55 (41 males 14 females) as being European Portuguese. 
The discrepancy between the figures is obvious. Only 19 
who were born in Portugal and not 55 could have been 
European Portuguese unless this number included the 
descendants of the latter born in Calcutta. The difference 
between the two figures (36) gives most probably the number 
of the Goans, who returned themselves as Portuguese. The 
Goans are politically entitled to call themselves Portuguese 
and are officially recognised as such by the Portuguese 
Government. The majority of those who declared that Portu- 
guese was their language must have also been Goans, and, in 
fact, they mentioned Goa as their birth-place. It would have 
been curious to know how many Luso-Indians, if at all, gave 
Portuguese as their language. 

In his'second Census Report (1881), H. Beverley gave up 



the term Indo-Portuguese and classed all Luso-Indians among 
the Eurasians, whose number he gave as 9,410. The later Cen- 
suses of Calcutta do not throw much light on the community 
of Luso-Indians, for they are classed as Indo-Europeans or as 

In the Calcutta Census Report, 191 1, by O'Malley, which 
is the latest one and formed part of the general Census 
of India, there are palpable discrepancies regarding the " Por- 
tuguese." The Luso-Indians are all included among the 
Anglo-Indians. The number of those who declared themselves 
as belonging to Portuguese nationality and speaking the 
Portuguese language, was 254. Only 10, however, are men- 
tioned as having been born in Portugal, and this may be 
taken as the number of European Portuguese in Calcutta. 
The rest are undoubtedly Goans. It is doubtful whether any 
Luso-Indians or Indian Christians with Portuguese names 
claimed Portuguese nationality. 

All over Western Bengal, isolated numbers of Luso-Indians 
can be found. In the Hooghly District where lay the head- 
in Hooghly quarters of the Portuguese, there are 

comparatively few Luso-Indians, for they 
have migrated to Calcutta. The Hooghly Gazetteer, 191 2, 
mentions that there were 94 Eurasians, more than half of 
whom were Roman Catholics. It cannot be definitely said 
how many of these were Luso-Indians. 

Near Geonkhali in Midnapore District there is a commu- 
nity of Luso-Indians, who in 191 1 numbered 129. They call 

themselves descendants of some Portu- 

In Midnapore . 

guese gunners whom the Raja of Mahisadal 
brought from Chittagong in the latter half of the eighteenth 
century to protect his property against Mahratta raids. These 
soldiers settled on some rent-free lands granted by the Raja 
and intermarried with the women of the place. Many of 
them seem, however, to be pure Indians and as the Census 



Report has " they bear both Bengali and Portuguese names 

such as DeCruz, Rosario and Lobo, but they are Bengalis in 

every thing but name and religion."* Most of them are Roman 

Catholics but some of them were converted to Protestantism 

by Rev. J. Bower, of the S. P. G. Mission, who visited them 

in 1838 and described them as " nominal Christians with 

scarcely any sign of Christianity except a few images of the 

Virgin Mary and saints, no public worship or prayer, no 

scriptures, no sacraments." 

In Eastern Bengal the Portuguese descendants are very 

few compared with the Indian Christians who were converted 

in enormous numbers by the Portuguese 
In Eastern Bengal J 

Missionaries in the seventeenth and the 
eighteenth centuries and whose descendants still bear Portu- 
guese names and are now called Kala Feringhis. According 
to the Augustinian accounts about thirty thousand people 
were converted in Eastern Bengal before i68o.f By 17 50, 
the number of the Christians for Eastern Bengal was reduced 
to 8733, as it appears from the Relation of Frei Ambrosio 
de Santo Agostinho given to the Viceroy of Portuguese 
India. } What happened to the rest is a question that need 
not be discussed here. It is beyond doubt that a vast majority 
of those who bear Portuguese names in Eastern Bengal are 
the descendants of these Indian converts and not the descen- 
dants of pure Portuguese, who were more adventurers than 
settlers in Eastern Bengal. Hence in order to differentiate 
between the two communities they are called in this work 
Feringhis and not Luso-Indians. 

* L. S. S. O'Malley, Bengal Census Report^ 19 11, p. 2 18. 

t Letters of Frei Femao Queiros (Oct. 7, 1678) and of others, pre- 
served in one of the volumes of the Marsden Mss., Brit. Mus Add. Mss., 
9851. Cf.Fr. H. Hosten's translations in the Catholic Herald of India, 
Aug, 29, 1917 and succeeding Nos. 

% O Chronista de Tissuari Vol. II pp. 57-62. Cf Fr. Hosten's Trans- 
lation in Catholic Herald of India, Dec. 19, 1917 and succeeding Nos. 


The earliest statistics of the Feringhis of Chittagong were 
published by H. Beverley in the Calcutta Review^ 1871 Vol. 53. 

In 1859 the Feringhis of Chittagong 
^S^f/w^ numbered 1,025, the males being 510, the 

females 515. In i860, the number of the 
males decreased to 466, while that of the females rose to 519, 
on the whole there being a falling off of 40 persons. In 1866 
the number further decreased to 865, of whom 424 were males, 
and 441 females. Besides those resident in Feringhi Bazar, 
Beverley ascertained the existence of some 322 Feringhis, 
of whom 85 were returned as adult males, 107 as adult 
females, 82 as boys and 48 as girls. From 1845 to 1865 
the number of births among the Feringhis was 984 and 
the number of deaths from 181 5 to 1866 was 1,082. The 
Chittagong Gazetteer, 1908, is not definite about the number 
of the Feringhis in Chittagong. It says that out of the 
1,237 Christians that are found there, most belong to the 
Feringhi community. In the Bengal Census Report of 191 1, 
the number of the Feringhis in the whole of the Eastern 
Bengal was given as 1,202, but the number must have been a 
much greater one. They were classed among the Eurasians 
and were mentioned as mostly residing in Bakarganj, Noakhali 
and Chittagong. According to the Bengal Census Report of 
1 901, in Noakhali alone there were about 490 Feringhis, almost 
all of whom were Roman Catholics and were classed among the 
Eurasians. In the Bakarganj Gazetteer (1918) a thousand 
Roman Catholics are mentioned out of whom 841 are the 
parishioners of the Portuguese Church of Shibpur or Padrishib- 
pur. These numbers include also the native Christians but 
most of them bear Portuguese names and though really 
Indian in blood are called Feringhis or Portuguese. In 1876 
Beveridge gave the number of the Feringhis in Bakarganj as 
9oo*. Hence the Feringhis of Noakhali and Bakarganj would 

* Beveridge, ike District of Bakarganj ^ p. 1 10, 


exceed in number the figure given by O'Malley for the whole 
of Eastern Bengal. In the absence of more accurate statis- 
tics, the present number of the Luso-Indians in Eastern 
Bengal may be roughly put down to about 10,000, — Dacca 
District accounting for about 6,000, Chittagong for about 
1,000, Bakarganj District for 1,000, Noakhali for about 800, 
Assam, Tippera and other places for about 1020.* 

The conclusion that can be arrived at from these statistics 
is that the number of the Luso-Indians and the Feringhis 
in Bengal is on the decline. In the case of the Feringhis of 
Eastern Bengal the reason is that they are not prolific, a 
fact already pointed out by H. Beverley in his article in 
the Calcutta Review. \ In Calcutta a different factor has to be 
considered. The Luso-Indians in Calcutta gradually merge 
themselves into the Anglo-Indian community, either by inter- 
marriages or by changing or modifying their names and thus 
lose all association with the Portuguese, while few Portuguese 
come and settle in Bengal and leave their descendants. 

* These figures are chiefly based on the number of parishioners of 
the Portuguese and other Catholic Churches in Eastern Bengal. These 
parishioners generally bear Portuguese names, and those who do not, 
ha*« been excluded 

f Tk4 Ftriughtts of Chittagong, Cal. Rev. 1871 Vol. 53- » 




The Portuguese language was, in the seventeenth and 
even in the eighteenth centuries, a lingua franca in Bengal. 
It was the medium of converse not only among the Portu- 
guese and their descendants, but also among the Indians 
and later on among the English, the Dutch, the French and 
the other settlers who came to Bengal. Only in the native 
Courts the Persian language was used. Long after the 
Portuguese power was extinguished their language was freely 
spoken in Bengal as in other parts of India The Portuguese 
language was not confined to Hooghly and Chittagong only, 
but it was generalized throughout the country for as already 
stated the Portuguese had small settlements all over the 
banks of the Ganges and on the lower parts of the Brahma- 
putra and of the various rivers that flow into them. Outside 
their homes the people of Bengal came either for commercial 
purposes or for litigations and were forced to adopt the 
language of the Portuguese who knew no Bengali. Hence 
enormous number of Portuguese words have found their way 
in the Bengali language. 

In Calcutta, Hooghly, Balasore and other settlements the 
East India Company employees .made themselves understood 
only in Portuguese ; even their servants spoke no other lan*, 
guage but Portuguese. Marshman well summarises the impor- 
tant part which the Portuguese language played at one time in 
bengal, He says : "Portuguese language came in with thePortu- 
ffuse power two centuries and a half, before, and survived its 
extinction. It was the Imgua franca of 'all fofefgi) settlements 
and was tt»e ordinary medium «C couve«atW« between the 



Europeans and their domestics; while Persian was the 
language of intercourse with the Native Courts. Even in Cal- 
cutta Portuguese was more commonly used by the servants 
of the company and the settlers than the language of the 
country. The Charter granted to the East India Company, 
at the beginning of the 18th century contained a provision 
that they should maintain one Minister at each of their 
garrisons and superior factories and that he should be bound 
tp acquire the Portuguese language within a twelve-month of 
reaching India. Clive who was never able to give an order 
in any native language, spoke Portuguese with fluency. 
The use of this language has since died out in Bengal so 
completely that the descendants of the Portuguese now speak 
Bengali from their cradle. Yet down to so late a period as 
1828, the Governor of Cri Ramapur, a Norwegian, received 
the daily report of his little garrison of 30 sepoys from the 
Native commandant, a native of Oudh, in Portuguese." 

Kiernander the first Prostestant missionary in Bengal 
preached in 1780 in the old Mission Church in the Portuguese 
language ; Clarke another missionary who came to Calcutta 
studied the Portuguese language to preach to the native 
congregations. Ringletanha did the same in 1797. A writer 
in the Quaterly Review of 18 14 asserts "If in the eventual 
triumph of Christianianity in India a Romish Church should 
be formed, Portuguese will be the language of that Church 
wherever it stands". As a matter of fact, up to 181 1 Portu- 
guese was used in all the Christian Churches in Calcutta 
whether under the direction of the Portuguese or not. 

In connection with the missionary labours it is an interest- 
ing fact that the first three printed books in the Bengali 
language (though in Roman characters) were printed by the 
Portuguese hi Lisbon in 1743. These books on religious ins- 

* Marshmati, Histfiry t>f Cri Ramapur Mission, Vol. I. pp. 31-22, 



truction were arranged for the press by an Augustinian, Frei 
Manuel Assumpcao, who was in Nagori near Dacca. One 
of these books can be seen in the Library of the Asiatic 
Society of Bengal, Calcutta. 

To-Day the Portuguese language is not spoken among the 
descendants of the Portuguese or their converts. In a few 
families a corrupted form of Portuguese is spoken largely 
intermingled with English words. Only a few years ago a 
parish priest of the Portuguese Mission in Calcutta confessed 
a Luso-Indian lady in a broken but comprehensibe Portuguese. 
Many descendants as Marshman remarked, speak nothing but 
Bengali. In general, the English language is spoken with a 
peculiar soft accent and a modulation of voice suggestive 
of Portuguese. They use however, some Portuguese phrases 
and words, which very curiously refer to religious ceremonies, 
to greetings and to the dinner-table. 

The following are some of the words that have survived 
in the English, which the some Portuguese descendants and 
some Feringhis speak, and which are peculiar to them. Besides 
these words, they use other Portuguese words or their deriva- 
tions which have passed into the English language in general, 
and which are called Anglo-Indian words. H. Beverley noticed 
many of these Luso-Indian words being in use in Eastern 


Luso-Indian and Feringhi Words 

Greetings] Filiz Natal (feliz natal) 

Movit-obrigad (Muito obrigado) 
Filiz nuevo an (feliz novo anno) 

Thank you 
Happy new year 
Merry Christmas 

Bon di (Bom dia) 
k Ba nite (boa noite) 

Good Day 
Good night 

* The Feringhees of Chittagong % Cal. Rev. 187 1 Vol. 53. 




Days of 
the week 

ed with 

ed with 
the Dinner 

Dooming (domingo) 

Sagund-fer (Segunda-feira 

Ters fer (tersa-feira) 

Kart fer (Quarta-feira) 

Quint fer (Quinta-feira) 

Sext fer (Sexta-feira) 

Sabbaddoo (Sabado) 

"Quaresma (Quaresma) 

Resuresam (Resurreicao) 

Fillad (Filhado) 

Fillad (Filhada) 

Padrin (Padrinho) 

Madrin (Madrinha) 

Compadre (compadre) 

Comadre (Comadre) 

r Janto (Janter) 

Cer (cear) 

Almusso (almoco) 

Bindaloo (Vinho de alho) 

Foogath (fogado) 

Pantifrith (pente-frito) 
Bol-comaro (bolo-comadre) 

Mel-de-rose (Mel de rosa) 













God -father 








Anglo-Indian Words of Portuguese Origin 

Many Portuguese words, directly or indirectly, have found 
their way in the Anglo-Indian vocabulary, and thence into the 
English language. Some Anglo-Indian colloquialisms, such 
as goglet, gram, plantain, muster, caste, peon, padre, mistry, 
almyra, aya, cobra, mosquito, pomfret, camees, palmyra are 
distinctly Portuguese in origin. Words such as palanquin, 
mandarin, mangelin, monsoon, typhoon, mango, mango stem, jack- 
fruit, batta, curry, chop, cangee, coir, cutch, catamaran, cassanar, 



nabob, avadaval, betel, areca, benzoin, corge, copra, are native in 
origin but have found their way into the Anglo-Indian 
vocabulary through the Portuguese.* 

Most of the words, which the early Englishmen in India 
used, are now obsolete. Yet it is not likely that Portuguese 
words like caste and cobra will be ever deleted from the 
English Dictionary. The following Anglo-Indian words are 
mentioned on the authority of Yule and Burnell {Hobson- 
Jobsori) and Mons. R. Dalgado (Inftuencia do Vocabulario 
PortuguSsem Linguas Asiaticas). For details and controversial 
points the readers are referred to those learned works. 

Pn YtiA <T1J 

Fticrlish ( A ticrlfi-Tn/\ 

J~i rift? Mo? v \XXft'€Zlv ^ffi(Afi/l*f*'i 


A 1 1 / 1 \ 

Abada (rhynoceros) 

A 1 


A1 / • 1 1 _ \ 

Achar (pickles) 





Albacore (a species of fish) 


Alcatif (carpet) 




Aldea (a village) 


Aljofar (a jewel, pearl) 


Amah (wet-nurse) 


Margosa {neem tree) 


Ananas (Pine-apple) 


Anile, Neel (indigo) 


Ap, appas, 


Areca (betel-nut) 


Almyrah (wardrobe) 


Arrack, Rack (distilled spirit) 


Rattle, rottle (pound weight) 


Assegay (spear) 


Bayadere (dancing-girl) 

* Vide Yule-Burnell, ffobsoit'Jobson, Intro, p. xix. Though it is not 
strictly correct, the Anglo-Indian words are mentioned under the heading 
*♦ English,'' for the term " Anglo-Indian " has lost its former significance* 

Portuguese Language 2o§ 





Balachong, balichaw. 


Baity (bucket) 




Bandejah (a tray) 


Bang (hemp) 

Hoof a 

Bus (enough) 


Batta (rations) 


Batta (difference in exchange) 



Batty, paddy 


Batel botilla fa boaO 


Buderrook ( coin} 






Betel (betel-nut} 

1Ri«~Vir\ Hr» mar 

Beech-de-Mer (sea slug) 

R J 1 i tTd V\i tin 

Blimbee, (fruit of Averrhoa J5.) 



Boy (servant) 

Bonito (a fish) 


Bonze (budhist priest) 


Boutique (shop) 


Botickeer (shop-keeper) 


Brab (Palmyra tree) 




Cabook (Laterite) 





Calva ^ nrtr»lHa\ 

Cash ( coins} 


Kaiu. Cashew (tree or fruit} 




Calputee (caulker) 


Calaluz (rowing vessel) 


Cumra (chamber) 





















Cobra de capelo 
Cobra manila 

Cdco do mar 






Cammeeze (shirt) 
Campoo (camp) 
Congee, canjee (rice prepara- 
Carambola (fruit) 
Caravel (sailing vessel) 

Castees (Portuguese born in 

Cattanar, cassanar (Syrian 

Catechu, cutch 
Catur, cutter (boat) 
Cavally (a fish) 
Chaw (tea) 

Chop (a seal-impression) 

Chabee (key) 

Chunam (prepared lime) 


Cobra (snake) 

Cobra capella (a snake) 

Cobra manilla (a snake) 

Cocoa, coco-nut 

Coco-de-Mer (double coco-nut) 

Compradore, compadare (a 

Coprah (dried kernel of coco- 

Corge, coorge (a score) 
Cornac (elephant driver) 
Cuttanee (a kind of piece- 






Covid (a measure) 


Corral (enclosure) 


Cuspadore (spittoon) 


Dorado (fish) 


Imprest (advance money) 


Scrivan f clerk, writer^ 


Stevedore (one who stows and 

unloads cargo of a ship) 


Fazendar (proprietor) 






Fogass (a cake baked fn 



Foras lands (lands reclaimed 

from the sea) 


Falaun (somebody, so-and-so) 




Gentoo ( a. srentile^ 


Ginfellv f/z7/ Hind ^ 












Oart (coco-nut garden) 


Ortolan (a lark) 


Girja (church) 


Jack fruit 




Jillmill (window-shutters) 


Jangar (a raft) 




Lascar (a sailor) 





Leelam, neelam (auction) 


Lime (fruit, citrus medico), 


Linguist finteroreterY 


Lawad (arbitrator) 


Muncheel. Maniecbfakindof 



Mandadore (one who com- 



Mandarin (a counsellor, 






Mangelin (weight) 






Manilla-man (a dealer in corals 

or gems) 


Maund (weight) 


Martil, martol (a hammer) 




Mustees, mestiz(a half-caste) 

*ta\m va w 

Mistry, mestri (a workman) 




fllUI UCAl MI 

Mort-de-chien f cholera^ 

1UU3VJU1 Iv 



Muster (a pattern) 


Moor (a Muhammadan) 


Moorah (a measure) 


Nabob, nawab 

Naik comoraH 


Nair (a caste in Malabar) 




Ollah (palm-leaf) 






























Palmyra (a palm-tree) 
Pomfret (fish) 

Pataca (a coin) 

Patacoon (a coin) 

Paulist (a Jesuit) 

Peon (an orderly) 

Pairie (a variety of mango) 

Pertencas (appurtenances) 

Picotta (a contrivance to draw 

Pintado (a painted cloth) 
Pintado (a kind of pigeon) 
Paial, pial (a raised platform) 
Kintal, kintalis (a mixed class 

of people in Calcutta) 
Kitty-sol (an umbrella) 
Reseed (receipt) 
Reas, rees (coin) 
Rolong (flour) 

Sagwire (a variety of palm) 

Sumatra (Geog.) 

Sombrero, summerhead (um- 
brella, broad brimmed hat) 

Taiapoin (Budhist priest) 

Tomtoack (alloy) 

Topass (a half-caste, Indian 

Trunk of a tree 






Tootnague (chinese zinc) 
Walade (a property by the 




Verdure (vegetables) 

Bengali Words of Portuguese Origin 

Lists of Portuguese words in the Bengali language have 
appeared now and then in modern writings. But these lists 
are not only incomplete but often faulty. Mons. R, Dalgado's 
work on "The Influence of the Portuguese Vocabulary on the 
Asiatic Languages? has supplied a long-felt deficiency. Mons. 
.Dalgado mentions about a hundred and seventy Portuguese 
words current in the Bengali Language, but the author has 
been able to add more to the list. It is doubtful, however, 
whether some Bengali words, marked with interrogation 
marks, are derived from Sanskrit or other languages. For a 
discussion on controversial points Monsenhor Dalgado's work 
should be consulted. The words marked with asterisks are 
either religious terms or are chiefly current among Bengali 

Bengali Portuguese English 


Baphadu Abafado A dish 

Kabar Acabar Finish, Last day 

of the month 


Agua benta 


Holy water 

Lamp, lantern 








Pitch, Tar 

Alpin£t, Alpfn 











Alb, an ecclesiastical 













A fruit {Anona 











IT Jr 


Ave Maria 

Hail Mary 







? Bhap, baspO 


Vapour, breath 







Baldf, Bait* 



















Boas noites 

Good night 

♦Bovis tardiya 

Boas tardes 

Good evening 






An earthen vessal 



A little cake 



Hydraulic machine 


Bons dias 

Good day 





? Rotal hotal 




JYaUcrd, KaUaTa 



? TCanhi 











x di 1 ui 







Rroth pre^v 















f aca f At* V»r»fort^ 
Vvdad ^UC UULdU 1 



fa cilia 

V^ndau Die, dIJ cccic- 

siasiicai vcsuineni 

•Katelr isma 


Ca frf»f*h !«m 








i ea 

r \_,nap cnnap 


oeai, type f stamp 

rhah? rhahi sahf 


xv cy 



Palannnin -c/if a 
t dldllvjUill|3pLlia 


find mother 





V/viiii/aui w 

find -father 

? Kamn&A 




V/ Villi UIllUHJ 

/"Vim m Httinn 
V^UIIl 1X1 UlllUU 



Pnn f pcoirtrt 




A light supper 


Coronel corporal 


Kotri, kobiscak 




Nail, also dotes 











Krux, kruxacriti 
















Em joelhos 

Kneeling dowri 



Shrove-tide, carnival 







*Spintu, Santu 

Espirito Santo 

Holy Ghost 









To iron 



Ecclesiastical vest- 




To fail, to want 















A grate partition 

with bars 




At 1 / 






A brush to sprinkle 

holy water 




Girja\ Girjja 






Ingtej . 










j aiapa 


Jdlldla, Jdlldla 

j aneia 


\J U<»| J LI V u J 






Nil£m' Nilam 

T *»il3r» 


IX lldllld 

T f»hl1 



J. IX Ad 1 

|\/| *-» /~1 «p« *-\ \-\ ry 












xvi ana 


* Man A ' 








TV /Ton 4- 




1 able 





J ^<;i fin 9 ri r» 


*Muita merce" 

Muita merc£ 

x u yuur neaitn 


IX dLdl 




in ovena 


■ iIaa f finn^A i 

wieo ^sanco ) 

TT _ t _ _ • 1 

rloly oil 



A kind of mantle 

without sleeves 


Organ , 


jl dure 



jl duruauo 


Pad A" 


God father 

i aUIll 




i apa 




Papaya fruit 

















Penalty, punish- 


? Pilurf, 


Pillory, iron-ball 

Peru, Piyara 








Holy water basin 

Pip£, Pipe, Pimpa 


Pipe (of wine) 









Poor, a servant of 

the church 






Purveyor, Provisor 















Lace, rent 






Fund, remainder 




Sab£n, sabanbat 














Gown, , 












Fate,Juck ^ 



Ecclesiastical Vjsst 

' ment 








Tama*k, tama"k, tam- 



aku, tamaku, tam- 













To note down 









Tomb, coffin 




? Baranda 








Rod, rafter 



Tendnll, gimlet 






Viola, guitar 

Assamese Words of Portuguese Origin 

As the Assamese and the Oorya languages are spoken in 
the Bengal Presidency (Assam and Orissa), lists of Portuguese 
words in those languages will not be out of place. These 
words are mostly the same as the ones current in the Bengali 


Assamese Portuguese English 

Achar Achar Pickle 

Aiyi Aia Ayah 

Alpin Alfinete Pin 

Almarf, almaira* Armario Almyrah 

* There are Portuguese words current also in the Garo and the 
Kkasst languages, spoken in the southern part of Assam. For the list of 
these words, Mons. Dalgado's work should be consulted* 







I ltd 



JL/*» I All 





Vapour, Breath 



An earthen vessel 



Hydraulic machine 






Chih chai 




V/Ildp dllU UCIlVd- 


V lid LJCl 

Stamo imoress 


Chi5hi <«f4.V»i 

VsllttUl, jaiUl 




v_> will uaoDU 




To iron 






A cracker 



— i fl ^ * \/ fill 



\nf l X Ui vll 




To 1 an era n? 



Jua and derivatives 


















lYXISLi 1 






* cru 


X vl U 




Pipe (of wine) 







S«ban, Chaban 





Gown, Petticoat 






Tambaru, Tamburu 






Oorya Words of Portuguese Origin 




















Plate, Basin 

? Bhap, Bhamp 


Vapour, breath 
















Chhap, Chhapri, 


Stamp, impress 









To iron, Stretch 













Jua and Derivatives 






? Lemu, Nemu, Nimu 

















Uriya. Portuguese, English. 







Sabun, Xabinf 











Fate, luck 




? Tuph&n 



Hindustani words of Portuguese Origin 

Hindustani, whether an independent language or a dialect 
of Hindi and Urdu, is the lingua franca of India and is 
spoken in Bengal. Many Portuguese words are current in 
Hindustani and some have passed through its medium into 
other languages. 










Alpin, A 1pm 















? Anisun 








Pound (weight) 

At, Ata 


Custard apple 

Basan, B6jan 

Bacia, Bacio 




Vapour, breath 

BajrA, Bujra 


Arabic barque 

Baldf, Baltf 




























A fruit 




Boyam 1 


An earthen vesssel 







PBotal, Bottal 



Kalpatti, Kalapatiya* 



Kamara, Kamara, 



Kamera, Kam'ra 

Oamis Oamfi 








Kandi (weicrht^ 













CM, cMh, Ch*y, 




Chh&'o and deriva- 


Press imorint 


Cnavi, L.naui, 






Driver, Coachman 












PA9 fli PUf. W 


Kufiva Kuniva"n 







OWUl u 


' 1 "r\ i «Yin 



Fita\ Flta\ Phita" 



? Phatakha* 



Farm 4 


X \Jl 111CL 

Pnrm lVTnnlrl 

? Fulan Fulana" 

X UlcLllVJ 

OU dllU OU 


VJI CI gf Clilll 

Gar;? div«i 

vji cn tiui y ** 

VJ 1 Civ A v.. 









X^ ***** V-*L% 











Tultfb. Tull£b 









Tu£kheln& and 


To play 






x^ nam 

T -£»ilao 


T j tn i'i T j»itii'i 

T imSrt 

T fmort 






Marmar, Marmarf 



M5rtil, Martol, 



Martol, Martaul 







Mej, Mez 

Musikf, Mus£gf, 

? Naul, Nuval, Naul 

k& mal 
Argan, Arghanum 

Pamvrotf, Pao-rotf 






Pistol, Pistaul 

Paratf, Parit 
Preg, Pareg 

Sabun, Saban, 

Saltfta, Salutih, 



Mes (acabar) 




























End of month 
Master, workman 








Pear, Guava 



Pipe (of wine) 













Bengali Portuguese English 

Sepa*t Sapato Shoe 

Tambaku, Tamaku, Tabaco Tobacco 









Vinha de alhos 







Gimlet, tendril 


4 The alphabetical order is followed in the columns of Portuguese 
words. In cases where Portuguese words have passed into other 
languages with complete or slight changes of meaning, the English 
meanings of the words thus changed and not those of the Portuguese words, 
are given. It mast be mentioned that some of the Bengali words of 
Portuguese origin, given above, are not common everywhere in Bengal 
but are confined to certain divisions or places. 



The Bandel Convent, tiooghly 

Barely twenty miles away from Calcutta lies this grey 
and hoary building — the Augustinian Convent and Church 
of Bandel, Hooghly * It is the oldest Christian Convent and 
Church in Bengal, being founded in 1599, the year when 
Manoel Tavares in virtue of a farman of Akbar established 
the great Portuguese settlement in Hooghly.f According 
to Manrique the foundation stone was laid on the day of the 
feast of our Lady of Assumption, that is on the 15th of 
August.{ The Convent was dedicated to the Augustinian 
saint, St. Nicholas of Tolentino and the attached Church to 

* There are some vague ideas current as to whether the Bandel 
Convent was a Nunnery or a Convent or a Church. I have been told by 
the present Prior!*of the Bandel Convent that some visitors inquire 
after the nuns in the belief that a Convent always harbours Nuns. The 
Bandel Convent was really a monastery of Friars, called convento in 
Portuguese, and a Church dedicated to O. L. of Rosary was attached to 
it. At present there are no friars in the Convent but one priest who 
ministers there, is still called a I'rior because he is the head of the 
Convent at the same time that he is the Vicar of the Church. 

t That the Convent was founded about the same year that Tavares 
founded the Settlement of Hooghly, ie in 1599, is asserted by Manrique. 
Cf. Fr. Cardon's Trans, of the Itinerario in Bengal Past and Present 
1916, Vol. XII, p. 290. Above the eastern gate of the Convent there is 
a copper plate with the inscription : Founded 1599 ; and on the western 
gate there is a stone bearing the same date. D. G. Crawford (A brief 
History of the Hughli District) and L. S. S. O'Malley, (Hooghly Gazetteer) 
evidently relying upon him, state that this stone was the key-stone of the 
original building. The former says it was set up at the eastern (should 
be western) gate when the Convent was re-built by Gomez de Soto in 
1660. Whether this stone is the key-stone or. not there is no doubt the 
Convent was founded in 1599. 

% "On the day of the triumphant entrance into heaven of the Heavenly 
Empress." Vide Itinerario, Fr. Cardon?* Trans. Bengal Past ami Present, 
Hi supra* 


Our Lady of Rosary. This Convent was, however, burnt down 
during the siege of Hooghly in 1632, by the Portuguese 
themselves while retreating.* For a time all commercial hopes 
of the Portuguese merchants and the religious enterprises of 
the Portuguese Missionaries seemed destined to be at an end 
in Hooghly. But the Portuguese managed to obtain a new 
farman from Shah Jahan and returned to Hooghly before 
July of the following year.f 

After their return the Portuguese established their settle- 
ment not on the site of the former one in Hooghly but a little 
to the north, the present Bandel. Hence the present Convent 
cannot be standing on the same site as the original one. 
Fr. Hosten, however, supposes that the Augustinians and the 
Jesuits must have insisted on getting back the sites of their 
former establishments for " it would have saved the expense 
of buying new ground, and would have made it possible 
to utilize the foundations and old materials of the earlier 
buildings ; moreover the sanctity attaching to the spot where 
their Church had stood and where many of the faithful and 
of .the Missionaries must have been buried made it desirable 
that they should return to the same place. "J These sup- 
positions do not warrant any definite conclusion and for an 

* Vide Fr. Cabral's letter from Ceylon, Fr. Besse's Trans, in the 
Catholic Herald of India, 27 Feb. 19 18, p. 166. 

f The popular tradition recorded in various modern writings is that 
the farman was obtained as a consequence of a miracle worked by 
Frei J0S0 de Cruz in Agra before Shah Jahan. The question has been 
discussed on p. 145 et seg. It remains to be said that George Germain 
{Vide Addenda II) remarks that the Portuguese returned to Hooghly 
through the influence of Frei da Cruz but makes no mention of the 
miracle. He asserts that the farman was signed by Shah Jahan. That 
twenty Portuguese persons returned to Hooghly in 1633 with the farman 
of Shah Jahan is also evident from J[ohn Poule's (Powell's) letter written 
from Harishpur, Orissa, to Cartwright of Balasore on July 17, 1633. 
Cf. p. 141 tt s*$. 

% A Week at the Bandel Convent, Bengal Past and Present) 19 15, 
Vol. X, pp. 45-46. 



archaeologist there is a vast field within the narrow limits of 

The date of re-erection of the Convent forms a controver- 
sial point In an inscription to John Gomes de Soto, which 
Asiaticus published in 1803, but is no longer existing, it 
was mentioned that the Convent of Bandel was rebuilt by 
him or his relatives, the last words of the inscription being 
ANNO 1661.* Fr. Hosten remarks that from this inscription 
the Rev. Long,f appears to have concluded that the Church 
was built in 1660. Crawford,} O'Malley § and others have re- 
peated the Rev. Long's statement. However, from this in- 
scription it is plain to a Portuguese archaeologist that the 
date does not signify the date of the erection of the Church 
but the date when the inscription was put. It is more 
likely that the Rev. Long's date 1660 is a misprint for 1640, 
which was the date assigned by Asiaticus to the re-erection of 
the Church, and with which the Rev. Long was acquainted. 
Else, he would have given the date 1661 according to 
the inscription. Asiaticus does not give any evidence in sup- 
port of his date but it may be taken as correct for he had 
good access to all the documents of the Church. Yet, it is 
strange that the Augustinians took seven (163 3- 1640) years 

* Asiaticus, Ecclesiastical Chronology and Historical Sketches re- 
specting Bengal^ Calcutta, 1803. The inscription was the following :— 



Translation :—Jom (loam or Toao) Gomes de Soto and his wife 
ordered to make for them and their descendants this tomb, where He 
their daughters, mother-in-law and brother-in-law, who ordered to build 
this Church : Year 1661. 

f The Portuguese in North India, Cat. Rev., 1846, Vol V. p. 260. 

i A Brief History of the Hughly District, p. 8. 

§ Hooghly Gazetteer, p. 265. 


before they re-erected their Convent, considering they were in 
such favourable circumstances and that their chief ambition 
must have been to have their temple again. 

The farman of Shah Jahan, which allowed the Portuguese to 
return to Hooghly in 1633 and which was confirmed in 1646 by 

Shah Shuja, granted the Prior of Bandel 
icJem ilH6S ° f tie the right of administration of justice to its 

inhabitants in all offences excepting those 
punishable with death.* This right the Prior exercised till 
1797, when the English Government took it away though the 
Prior of Bandel protested to Sir John Shore, afterwards Lord 
Teignmouth, that since the time of the grant of 777 bighas of 
land, he had exercised civil and criminal jurisdiction over the 
raiyats of the Bandel lands ; that this grant was confirmed in 
1646 by a new farman ; that the Bandel lands were distinct 
and were not included in the Sarkar of Satg&on ; that a letter 
from William Cowper, dated 17th July, 1787, showed that the 
Collector was prohibited from exercising any civil or criminal 
jurisdiction over the inhabitants of Bandel. The Govern- 
ment decided that no claims could be admitted, but that there 
was no objection to the Prior's "continuing to arbitrate and 
settle the disputes of the Christian inhabitants of Bandel 
as heretofore, whenever it may be agreeable to the parties 
to refer to him for the purpose," but that "the inhabitants of 
Bandel are subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts equally 
with other inhabitants of the Company's provinces".! Even 
till the death of the last Augustinian friar, Frei Jose* de S. 
Agostinho Gomes in 1 869, the Prior was like a petty Governor, 
having a police force of his own. At present the Convent 
has none of the privileges which the Mughal Government 

• For other privileges granted by the farman see p. 143 et seq. 

f G. Toynbee, Sketch of the Administration of the Hooghly 
District, p. 6. 


•had rgiven to it and out of the 777 bighas of land there remain 
only 380 bighas yielding a rent of Rs. 1,240 per annum 
the rest being lost through carelessness and litigations.* 

Bowrey remarks that in 1676 the Portuguese pulled down 
their Church and began to re-build it, but that when it was 
one-fourth finished the Moors stopped the work only for the 
sake of demanding a sum of money.f Now Bowrey is not 
definite at all where this Church was, but L. S. S. O'Malley 
and Fr. Hosten believe it must have been in Hooghly. The 
story itself is doubtful and Sir R. C. Temple, acknowledges 
that he could not find any confirmation either in the printed 
or Manuscript records of the period available. } Fr. Hosten 
argues that the Church referred to by Bowrey was the Bandel 
Convent built by John Gomes de Soto in 1640. § The state- 
ment of Bowrey as referring to the Augustinian Convent, 
is at best a conjecture. If it be a fact, then it is probable, 
as Fr. Hosten supposes, that the old Church must have 
been too small to accommodate the vast number of Portuguese 
who flocked to Hooghly from their other places taken by the 
Dutch, and that it was necessary by 1676 to replace it 
by a new one. 

When Siraj-ud-daula marched on Hooghly in 1756 and 
levied a toll of Rs. 5000 on the Portuguese he pillaged the 

Bandel Convent and ransacked all 
s a documents. Hence the Convent possesses 

* Toynbce <w5. cit. p. 6 and O' Malley, Hooghly Gazetteer p. 267. 
Frei J. So de S. Nicolau said in 1785 that more than two-thirds of the 
777 bighas were lost, which means that less than 260 bighas remained to 
the Convent. In 1784 George Germain said that only 270 bighas were 
remaining, Vidt Addenda if. 

t Countries round the Bay of Bengal^ pp. 194-95. 
% Temple's note to Bowrey's Countries Round the Bay of Bengal 
p. 195. 

§ A Week at the Bandel Convent, Bengal Past and Present, 
1915, Vol. X, pp. 52.53. 


no registers previous to that date. He did not however destroy, 
the building. During the taking of Hooghly by the English 
in 1757; the Bandel Convent was a scene of military activities. 
On Wednesday morning, 12th January, 1757, Lieutenants 
Morgan, Lutwich and Hayter, 150 seamen and 10 boats 
landed at the Bandel Convent, where they were joined by 
Captain (afterwards Sir) Eyre Coote with 100 battalion men 
and 100 sepoys.* From the tower of the Church the English 
made a survey and discovered that three to four thousand 
of the enemy were encamped two miles away. Bandel was 
full of provisions for Siraj-ud-daul5's army. The English 
drew up "abreast of the Portuguese Church", hoping to 
give battle but the enemy avoided it, till the Nawab.'s. camp 
was attacked.f 

In 1897 another accident befell the convent. The memor- 
able earthquake of that year completely destroyed the tower 
that was at the south entrance of the Church ; the statue of Our 
Lady of Happy Voyage was badly damaged and the walls of 
the Church and the Convent were considerably cracked. The 
Prior, Father P. M. da Silva, collected a subscription of 
Rs. 1000 and with "wonderful rapidity" erected a new tower 
with architectural improvements.^ The Church, the Augustinian 
Hall, the cloysters and the Statue of Our Lady of Happy 
Voyage were quickly repaired, and there this wonderful Church 
stands after the vicissitudes of more than four centuries, as 
stately and admirable as it ever was. 

What scenes has this Church not witnessed since its 
original foundation in 1599 \ Who could read in those 

* Vide Remarks on board His Majesty's ship Bridgwater jn Hill's 
Bengal in 1756-57. Vol. Ill pp. 13-16 and the Journal of Captain Eyre 
Coote, entry Jan. 12th, Ibid. p. 43. 

f The English must have drawn up along the southern side of the 
Bandel Convent, as they saw a forest to the right. 

J. Indo-European Correspondence^ Calcutta, June 23, Sept 15 and 
Nov. 17, 1897. 


mouldering stones around that Church the tale of so many 

races, of so many nations that strove 
TvSmms Faith and for supremacy in that narrow area ! The 

Muhammadan, the Afghan and the 
Mughal power, pomp and pride are all buried in the dust 
around it. The efforts of the Danes, the French, the Flemish, 
the Dutch and the Prussians who all sailed up the Hooghly 
with their goods are all a matter of history. And where is the 
Portuguese power that once was so great? It has long vanished 
but that old antiquity-aureoled Church is a living monument 
to the martial valour and the religious zeal of Portugal. 

Thousands of people of every race and caste, flock to this 
Convent with costly offerings, fulfilling their vows and praying 
for more favours. Wonderful stories are told of the miracles 
worked in that Church by Our Lady of Happy Voyage, whose 
very statue is associated, in public faith with miraculous facts. 
Let a tradition be recorded, which though unhistorical in some 
points counts so much in the piety and faith of hundreds 
of pilgrims that resort there every year. It is supposed that 
the statue of Our Lady of Happy Voyage was in the 
Military Chapel attached to the Portuguese factory destroyed 
in the siege of Hooghly. A pious Portuguese merchant who 
had special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary caught this 
statue and jumped into the river in order to save it from the 
sack of the Muhammadans, but was heard of no more. When 
the Bandel Church was being rebuilt (how long after?) the 
river Hooghly burst into a furious storm and one night Frei 
Joao da Cruz who was roused from his sleep heard the voice 
of the Portuguese merchant who had gone down in the river 
with the statue crying out : Salve ! Salve, a nossa Senhora de 
Boa Viagem que deu nos esta victoria. Levante, levante, oh 
padre e oraipor todos nos /* 

•Hailj hail. Our Lady of Happy Voyage, who has given us this victory. 
Arise, arise, Oh Father and pray for us all. 


The holy friar thought it was a dream and slept again. But 
next morning some pagans were bustling around the Church 
shouting that Guru Met (Blessed Virgin Mary) had come. Frei 
Joao da Cruz found the statue on the bank of the river near the 
Church where a ghat still visible was built in commemoration 
of the event. This image with a pompous ceremony was 
placed on the tower facing the river and was afterwards 
transferred to the place it now occupies. This is not all. 

Every visitor (and it may be said, by the way, Sir John 
Woodburn, Sir Andrew Fraser, Sir Edward Baker, Lord and 
Lady Minto with a big party and many other distinguished 
persons have been visitors) is struck by the sight of a mast 
standing before the main door in the piazza of the Church. This 
mast is supposed to be the offering of a Portuguese captain, 
whose ship was miraculously saved by a vow to Our Lady 
of Happy Voyage. The tradition is that this occurred during 
the life time of Frei Joao da Cruz who died in 1638 and Lt. 
Col. Crawford says that the mast was offered in 1655 by a 
Portuguese Captain as a thank-offering for a miraculous escape 
from storm.* 

The Rev. Long asserted in 1848, that there was a Nunnery 
in Bandel.f Taking this on trust, others have repeated the 
A Nunnery statement. Asiaticus had, in fact, suggest- 

ed in 1803 or rather insinuated in a flip- 
pant language that the Bandel Convent itself was a mixed 
convent of Friars and Nuns. "When I had gratified my 
curiosity," he writes "in examining the Convent, Imagination 
pointed to me sequestered Nymphs in the cloysters ; I sought 
what Fancy represented but alas ! I sought in vain : — No 
speaking eye — no panting bosom — no graceful form appeared 
to rivet my soul to Bandel ? Pure Holy, but solitary Bandell— 

* A Brief History of the Hughli District p. n. 

t The Portuguese in North India, Cal. Rev. 1846, Vol. V. P. 260. 



I wished to have imbibed religious admonitions from the rosy 
lips of Beauty — How strongly impressed must they have been 
when delivered in a Cloyster !"* There are no records yet 
found in the archives of Goa or Mylapore referring to the 
erection of a Nunnery in Bandel. Fr. Hosten S. J. who has 
investigated the question very deeply, says that a Nunnery was 
probably contemplated in Hooghly.f Mannuci refers in 1707 
to an Augustinian hospice with a sisterhood in Mylapore, 
Madras, } and it would not be strange if something of the kind 
was attempted at Hooghly, which was under the jurisdiction of 
Mylapore. In 17 14 the Augustinians of Bandel did actually 
declare before Don F. Laines, Ordinary of Mylapore, that a 
widow named Izabel de Jesus was a professed Religious of 
their Order and claimed exemption for her from his authority. 
They confessed, however, that she had never lived in a 
monastery, such being the distance from Bengal to Goa (sic) ; 
but they contended that this was not an essential condition. 
They said they had the power to admit her to the profession, 
and that she depended from the nearest convent, St. Monica's 
of Goa.§ It is beyond doubt that there was no Nunnery in 
Bandel. Izabel de Jesus may, however, be said, though not 
quite strictly, to have been the first nun in Bengal. 

The power of creating nuns which the Augustinian friars 
claimed though there was no canonical nunnery, added pro- 
bably to other scandals, has given rise 
Immorality in Bandel? " . . L L . . 

to many allegations against their morality. 
It is easily conceivable that the Augustinian friars, having no 
proper discipline and having a Superior who was far away in 
Mylapore had for a time degenerated in their morals. Captain 

* Ecclesiastical Chronology, etc., p. 48. 
t The Catholic Examiner^ 19 13, p. 349. 
% Storia, de Mogor, Vol. IV. p. 68. 
§ The Cath, Exam, ut supra. 



Alexander Hamilton describing Bandel, as he saw it in about 
1710, writes : "The Bandel at present deals in no Sort of Com- 
modities, but what are in Request at the Court of Venus, 
and they have a Church where the Owners of such Goods and 
Merchandize are to be met with, and the Buyer may be con- 
ducted to proper Shops, where the Commodities may be seen 
and felt, and a priest to be Security for the Soundness of the 
Goods."* These remarks have served to inflame the religious 
prejudices of writers like the Rev. Long and prompted Asiaticus 
to write : "The lascivious damsels of this once gay city 
slumber under its ruins. When Pomp withdrew from Whence, 
Debauchery vanished. Poverty now stalks over the ground 
where once beguiling Priests led the unwary stranger in the 
morning to the altar of God and in the evening to the chamber 
of riot : regardless of their sacerdotal robes here Priests for 
gold were the Factors of Pleasure."")- It is possible that 
there were serious abuses in Bandel on the part of the priests 
but it is clear that imagination has been unduly strained in the 
descriptions and generalized statements about Bandel, even if 
they could be applied in 17 10. Writers who visited Bandel 
shortly before A. Hamilton and after him, have nothing to 
say about the immorality of the priests of Bandel. Charpen- 
tier Cossigny who has used bitter Voltairian sarcasm against 
the Bandel Church which he visited in 1798 (7th year of the 
Republic) has nothing to say about the immorality of Bandel 
and only describes it as a poverty-ridden place, with a few 
huts and barracks of the Portuguese.^ It is possible, however 
that during his time debauchery had yielded place to poverty. 
But yet the very next year Sir Robert Chambers, Judge of 
the Supreme Court, went to spend the vacation at the "pleasant 

* A New Account of the East Indies, Vol. II, p. 21. 
t EccL Chron., p. 44- 

\ Voyage an Bengale, Paris 1798, Vol I, pp. 94— 97- 



and healthy settlement of Bandel."* He calls the Bandel 
Church a huge barn (grange)) describes the Portuguese des- 
cendants as spending their lives in begging, stealing and 
saying Paternosters (Lord's Prayer) ; the Prior of Bandel, 
whom he calls the Governor of the town, as employing his 
days and nights in drinking and fighting with his sub- 
ordinates, and gives a sarcastic account of the Procession 
of the Lady of Bandel, which he saw being attended by 
Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, Muhammadans, Hindus and 

The Bandel Church is administered by the Portuguese 
Mission in Bengal which maintains there a Prior. It is under 
the Diocese of Mylapore. Four solemnities are held every 
year in the Church : — The feast of Our Lady of Happy 
Voyage in the month of May ; the feast of Our Lady of 
Rosary in November ; the feast of St. Augustine in August 
and the feast of Domingo da Cruz on the first Sunday in Lent 
(February or March), when a solemn procession is held re- 
presenting the journey of Jesus Christ to the Calvary. 


Murghihatta, Calcutta. 

Though this Church is no longer under the Portuguese 
Mission, its history deserves a place in this chapter as it 
was the chief and the oldest Portuguese Church in Calcutta, 
and as its past is entirely or almost entirely associated with 
the Portuguese. It was referred to by Cottineau de Kloguen 
as the "richest in all India" and considering the legacies that 
have been kept for it, is still one of the richest in India/f 

♦ Calcutta Gazette, 3rd September, 1799. 

t. C. de Kloguen, An Historical Sketch of Goo, p. 123. 


Its origin dates back to 1690, when Job Charnock gave 

the Roman Catholics who followed him to Calcutta a plot of 

ground at the site of the Old Fort ten 
Foundation, ibgo . . 

btfrhas in area for the purpose of erecting 

a Chapel.* The Augustinians at once erected a temporary 

chapel of wooden and mud walls covering it with mats 

and straw. This little temple can be said to be the oldest place 

in Calcutta, where Christian worship was performed. In 1693, 

however, the Chapel was pulled down by order of Sir John 

Goldsborough who arrived at Sutanuti on the 12th of August 

of that year as Commissary-General and Chief Governor of 

the Company's settlements. His immediate attempts were 

directed towards correcting the abuses of the Company. In 

a long account which he has kept, he states that he found the 

merchants and factors of the Company marrying black wives 

who were Roman Catholics and that they were too much 

under the influence of the Augustinian friars. He, therefore, 

turned all friars out of Sutanuti and ordered the destruction 

of the Chapel which he called the "Mass-house."i* After the 

lapse of hardly three months, Sir John Goldsborough died 

in Sutanuti and ceased to be worried over the Company's 

abuses and the Augustinian "Mass-houses." 

The Portuguese friars replaced the Chapel in 1700 by a 

brick-built one, further away from their old Chapel, in 

Murghihatta where now the Cathedral Church stands.J 

* Rev. Long, Portuguese in North India, Cal. Rev. 1846, Vol. V. 
pp. 251-52. Also Cf. Bengal Catholic Herald, Jan. 1. 1842, pp. 2-3. 

t Hyde, Parochial Annals of Bengal, p. 21 ; Cf. also Wilson's Early 
Annals of the English in Bengal^ Vol. I, p. 143. 

1 How this quarter came to be known as Murghihatta {Murghi, a 
fowl ; hat, a bazar) is explained in the Census of India 1901. vol. VIII, 
pt. 1 p. 89. "With the growth of a heterogeneous population came the 
necessity of allotting particular areas to particular races. Thus shortly 
after the English came, the Portuguese who were the only people who 
kept fowls, the rest of the inhabitants being Hindus to whom fowls are 
forbidden, were allotted a quarter which came to be designated as 
Murghihatta and the Armenians a tola or division which was named 


The expenses of the erection were defrayed by Mrs. 
Margaret Tench whose tomb may be seen in the Churchyard, 
and by other Roman Catholics who contributed to it. In 
1720 the Chapel was enlarged by Mrs. Sebastian Shaw under 
the direction of the Vicar Frei Francisco d'Assumpciio. This 
Chapel was however ransacked and the records destroyed in 
1756 during the sack of Calcutta by Siraj-ud-daula. The 
Chapel escaped destruction. 

On the return of the English to Calcutta in 1757 they took 
possession of the Church and made use of it for Prostestant 

worship for four years, and Roman 
Pr 1n\Tchmck ip Catholic religion was interdicted in the 

Church. The Council in Fort William 
reported this action to the Court of Directors at Home in 
its letter dated January 31st, 1757. The letter runs : "The 
inconvenience we experienced at the siege of Calcutta from 
the prodigious numbers of Portuguese women who were 
admitted for security into the Fort, the very little or no 
service which that race of people are of to the settlement, 
added to the prospect we had of a war with France in 
which case we had reason to suppose they would refuse to 
take up arms against an enemy of their own religion (should 
we be attacked) induced us upon our return to interdict the 
public exercise of the Roman Catholic religion and to forbid 
the residence of their priests in our bounds".* 

The high-handedness of the Governor met with the dis- 
approbation of the Court of Directors. In the letter of 
the 3rd March 1758, they said " we cannot approve of your so 
generally interdicting the exercise of the Roman Catholic 
religion within the whole bounds, as such a step may be 
attended with many inconveniences. But if any priest is 
troublesome or suspected of doing anything prejudicial to our 

* Hyde, Parochial Annals of Bengal, p. 1 16. 


affairs, we would have such an one immediately dismissed and 
not permitted to reside any where within the bounds. As to 
Fort William itself it will be a prudent measure so long as the 
French War subsists not to suffer any person professing the 
Roman Catholic religion, priests or others, to reside therein, 
and this you are strictly to observe".* 

After Frei Caitano de Madre de Deus, the Vicar, was ex- 
pelled from the Church, Rev. Richard Cobbe officiated as the 
Chaplain and conducted the English services. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Thomas Northcotte who put the Church in 
repairs. He having complained to the Council that "it be enter- 
ed and Captain Brohier do put the church and churchyard 
in proper repair ; and that the Secretary do acquaint Mr. 
Northcotte he may appoint his own clerk, sexton and under- 
' taker."! Rev. Henry Butler was next appointed Chaplain by 
Governor Drake. It was this chaplain who, in the ministry 
of the Murghihatta Church, first entertained the Rev. John 
Zachary Kiernander, the founder of the Old Mission Church. 
Rev, Butler seems to have done some more repairs to the 
Church for on the ioth September he wrote to the Council 
asking that, "as the roof of the Church was much decayed and 
in danger of falling, Mr. Plaisted may be ordered to survey 
and examine the same."J Soon after, two other Missionaries 
Rev, John Moore and John Cape were sent out from 

Meanwhile the English community discontented with the 
religious affairs as they were going on, and possibly resenting 
that the services should be held in a misappropriated Church, 
appealed to the Council for a new Church. On the 24th March 

♦ Hyde, Parochial Annals 0/ Bengal, p. 1/6. 
t Hyde, op. cit^ p. 117. 
% Hyde, op. cit. t p. 120. 


1760 the Council decided : "Taking into consideration the 
unwholesomeness and dampness of the church now in use, as 
well as the injustice of detaining it from the Portuguese — 
Ordered the surveyor to examine the remains of the gateway 
in the Old Fort, and report to us what it will cost to put it 
in tolerable repair and make it fit for a chapel till such time 
as the chapel designed to be erected."* On July 17th the 
surveyor having reported to the Council that the Chapel 
ordered to be built was ready "agreed that the Church 
belonging to the Portuguese be restored to them and that 
the secretary do advise Padre Caitan the head priest, of our 
resolution." Thus the Portuguese got back the Murghihatta 
Church. The Chapel which the English built was called St. 
John's Chapel, the predecessor of St. John's Church. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the Catholic 
Community in Calcutta was growing in numbers and a need 

was felt for a bigger Church which could 
PrI%tf$d£g fthC accommodate the Catholic population. 

Two philanthropic brothers, Joseph and 
Louis Barretto, initiated the movement and at a general 
meeting of the Catholics it was decided to build the Church 
which is now known as the Murghihatta Church. The first 
stone of the Church was laid on the I2th March, 1797, by the 
Augustinian Vicar Frei Joaquim de Santa Rita assisted by 
his wardens Louis Barretto, Gabriel Vrignon, Antonio de 
Coito and Diogo Pereira. On the 21st of November, it was 
consecrated by the Rev. Francisco de Santa Maria and dedi- 
cated to Our Lady of Rosary. The architect was Thomas 
Syars Driver who having died before completion, the work was 
carried on by Monsieur Hemo of the Chief Engineer's office. 
The building cost 90,000 Sicca rupees, 30,000 of which were 
collected from the revenues of the Church and the remain- 
■' - ■ ■ 1 ■ ■ 1 

♦ Hyde op. rift, p. tzo. 



ing from subscriptions which having fallen short, the Barrettos 
made up the deficiencies. 

Many endowments have been made to this' Church 
especially by the Barrettoes, Count John Lackersteen and two 
ladies, Mrs. Rita Griffiths and Mrs. Philadelphia Bonfield. 
Over some legacies kept for this Church and over the manage- 
ment of its affairs many lawsuits have taken place in the 
Supreme Court of Judicature, Calcutta, and Joseph Barretto as 
a warden of the Church took active part in some of them. 

On either side of the high altar of the Cathedral are the 
tomb-stones to the memory of Mrs. M. Tench and Mrs. E. 
Shaw. There are many monuments in the Church some of 
them dating as early as 171 2. The tomb stones of most of 
the members of the Barretto family are in this Church. 
Archbishop Patrick Carew and Archbishop Goethals have 
also been buried in the Church. 


Boitakhana, Calcutta 

The Portuguese, their descendants and their converts first 
settled ia Murghihatta and then dispersed to other parts of 
Calcutta, as the population increased and especially when the 
Maharatta ditch was filled up and the Circular Road was 
constructed off Boitakhana * Along with the English and the 

* Boitakhana was so called from a tree, under which pedestrians 
were wont to sit on account of the shady rest it afforded. It was npipal 
tree, standing at the junction of Bow Bazar Street and Lower Circular 
Road. Captain Alexander Hamilton {New Acct. of East Indies) wrote 
that Job Charnock chose Calcutta on account of a large shady tree and 
m Tekchand Thakur's Alaley Gharer Duldl (Ch. 7) it is mentioned : "Job 
Charnock was often passing and repassing by the place of Bothukhana % 
there was an immense tree there, and sitting at the foot of it, he 
would rest and smoke tobacco ; at that place many merchants would 
meet He had so much affection for the shade of that tree that he 
resolved to fixliis factory there." Cf. Bengal Past and Present Vol. VIII, 
! 9»4i p. 137. 



English descendants they occupied the locality between 
Dharamtala and Bow Bazar Streets. This locality was once 
the fashionable quarter of Calcutta and was called the 
European quarter of Calcutta. The Catholics who settled 
near Boitakhana, felt the necessity of having another Church 
- for divine worship as the Murghihatta Church was far away 
from them. Louis Barretto was the first to take steps to found 
a Church near Boitakhana. In 1804 he obtained permission 
from the Marquis of Wellesley to do so, but he died soon after 
and the project was not carried out. The idea was taken up by 
an Indian Christian lady, Mrs. Grace Elizabeth, who with the 
help of four Portuguese gentlemen Diogo Pereira, Jesoph 
Pereira, Philip Leal and Charles Cornelius, founded the Church 
of Our Lady of Dolours at Boitakhana. The foundation stone 
was laid on the 13th June, 1809. The foundress bought the 
plot of ground (2 bighas, 4 cottas and 12 chattacks) from an 
Indian firm of goldsmiths ; she offered in addition Rs. 20,000 
for building expenses and then again 10,000 as a fund 
for defraying current expenses and lastly 2,000 more on 
completion of the work. The Church was consecrated by the 
Rev. Frei Francisco dos Prazeres on the 30th June, 18 10, and 
dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Dores. The foundress made 
over the Church to the Portuguese Augustinian Mission but 
reserved for herself the right of presentation of the Vicar. 
The first Vicar was an Augustinian named Frei Antonio de 
Padua. This Church still belongs to the Portuguese Mission 
and is under the diocese of Mylapore. During the Padroado 
question attempts were made by the English Mission to take 
over the Church. Bishop St. Leger interdicted the Church in. 
1835, and the wardens of the Murghihatta Church erected a 
Chapel for religious worship in the burial ground at Boitakhana. 
By virtue of the Concordat between the Holy See and the 
King of Portugal in 1887, this Church came under the Juris* 
diction of the Portuguese Bishop of Mylapore, 

Dharamtala Street, Calcutta 

This Church was founded by Mrs. Pascoa Barretto e Souza, 
the grand-mother of Sir Walter de Souza, in fulfilment of a 
vow. Louis de Souza had in 1821 been tried by the Supreme 
Court for causing grievous hurt to a Mr. Joseph Gonsalves, 
by shooting at him in a buggy, when returning one night from 
the Old Chowringhi Theatre — not wounding him in a duel 
as is generally believed — and Mrs. de Souza made a vow that 
should her son be acquitted she would build and endow a 
Church on her own land. The foundation stone was laid by 
the foundress on the 12th February 1832, the ceremony being 
performed by the Rev. Frei Simao de Conceicao, then Vicar 
of the Boitakhana Church. On Easter Sunday, the 30th 
March 1834, Frei A. Antonio Assumpcao, Provisor of the 
Bishop of Mylapore, consecrated it, dedicating it to the Sacred 
Heart of Jesus. One Mrs. Sheriff erected the building and 
all the costs including those of the purchase of the ground, 
organ bells, vestments, ornaments, furniture and the erection 
of a cemetery in Entally for the poor, amounted to more than 
200,000 sicca rupees which Mrs. Pascoa Barreto e Souza 

The Church is now under the ministration of the Jesuit 
Mission and not of the Portuguese Mission. 


This is one of the three Churches that belong to the Portu- 
guese Mission in Western Bengal, the other two being the 
Bandel Convent and the Boitakhana Church. The funds for 
the erection of the Church were left by Mrs. Sebastian Shaw 
on her demise — the same lady who in 1720 enlarged the 


Murghihatta Church. The Chapel was built in 1740, but 
according to Asiaticus, there was a Chapel of mats and 
straw in Chinsura before 1740. The two-storied building 
attached to the Chapel was called the Hermitage of the Infant 
Jesus as the Augustinian friars were dwelling there. The 
Church is under the care of the Prior of Bandel. 



This Church owes its existence to the Barretto Family. 
It is a beautiful edifice situated on the Strand. It was con- 
secrated in 1783 and dedicated to Santa Madre de Deus. 
(Holy Mother of God). The erection of the Church cost 
Rs. 14,000, part of which (Rs. 600) was contributed by the 
Hon'ble Colonel Bie, the Danish Governor of that Settlement, 
It is no longer under the Portuguese Mission. 


When Dum-Dum became the head-quarters of an artillery 
regiment, the Catholic soldiers had no means of attending 
divine service except in a hut which a pious Indian lady, Mrs. 
Moran, lent to a Portuguese priest for the purpose of saying 
mass on Sundays. This humble practise continued till 1822, 
when Joseph Barretto learning the state of affairs offered to 
erect a Chapel at his own expense and obtained from the 
Government a plot of ground for the purpose. Major-General 
Hardwick, the commandant of the artillery regiment, was 
unwilling that Barretto alone should bear the cost and pro- 
posed that the regiment itself should raise the necessay funds. 
He himself subscribed Rs. 100, but though even the Protestant 
soldiers subscribed, the amount realised was only Rs 3,000* The 


Catholics of Calcutta, among whom Joseph Barretto was most 
conspicuous, raised a subscription and Rs. 1 1,000 was realised. 
The foundation stone was laid in Feb. 1822, and Major 
General Hardwick and the regimental officers attended the 
ceremony. The erection of the Chapel had not extended far, 
when the architect, Mr. Goss managed to run away with a 
considerable part of the funds. Another subscription was 
raised in Calcutta and the work was completed. The Chapel 
was consecrated on Good Friday in 1823 and dedicated to St. 
Patrick. The Rev. Misquita was appointed the first Chaplain. 
This Chapel now belongs to the Jesuit Mission. 


Nagori, Dacca 

The Church of Nagori had its origin in the Mission of San 
Nicolau de Tolentino, that first started in Coxabanga (?) in 
the lands of the King of Busna (Faridpur ?), and then spread 
all over Eastern Bengal.* In the conversion of Eastern Ben- 
gal Christians, the figure of a layman, D. Antonio de Rozario 
the son of the King of Busna, stands pre-eminent above all 
others. In 1663 he was taken prisoner by the Maghs and 
carried to Arakan, where an Augustinian Friar, Manoel de 
Rozario, bought him and tried to convert him in vain, until 
St. Anthony is said to have miraculously appeared to him in 
a dream and beckoned him to embrace the Christian religion. 
Having thus become a Christian, he began to convert others 
with a fervour and zeal, that eclipses that of the Missionaries 
themselves. He composed dialogues and canticles, argued 
and preached in public about the faiths of the Christian reli- 
gion, extended the field of his Mission to the whole of Eastern 

* Relation of Frei Ambrosio de Santo Agostinho, in O Chrpnista de 
Tissuari, Vol. II. 1867 pp. 57-62 or Fr. Hosten's trans, in The Caiholk 
Herald of India Dec 19, 191 7 and succeeding Nos. 


Bengal, and is credited with having performed miracles and 
converted thirty to forty thousand souls. 

According to the Madras Catholic Directory (191 2) the 
Church of Nagori was built in 1664. But according to the 
Relation which the Father Provincial of the Congregation of St. 
Augustine of Goa, Frei Ambrosiode Santo Agostinho, gave to 
the Viceroy of Portuguese India in 1750, the Aldea (village) of 
Nagori was not acquired until 1695, when Frei Luis dos 
Anjos bought it, because the Christians of the place were sub- 
jected to vexations by other landlords. Nagori, eventually 
became the head of the Mission of St. Nicholas of Tolentino 
in Eastern Bengal and the Church of Nagori was dedicated 
to the patron of the Mission, St. Nicholas of Tolentino. 

From Frei Ambrosio de Santo Agostinho's Relation, it 
appears that the Church of Nagori in 1750 was a big thatched 
building with mud walls. There were in that year in Nagori 
600 Christians grown to an age of confession, besides a large 
number of children. There was a school attached to the 
Church, which was frequented by 150 boys. Hence Nagori 
was known as a Rectorate. Besides, there were about 9,000 
occult Christians who, though really Christians, would not 
openly avow their religion for fear of losing their caste. Frei 
Ambrosio also mentions that the Mission counted among its 
members 1 500 public Christians, 8,000 occult ones and 9,733 
Christians who dressed like Europeans. 

The Church was accidentally burnt almost completely on 
the 8th of April, 1881. The present Nagori Church was built 
in 1888 on a site about 150 yards away from the place where 
the old one stood. Its foundations were blessed on the 24th 
August, 1885, the Church itself being consecrated on the 22nd 
February, 1889. Its parishioners number 2,185. It has a con- 
fraternity of the Apostleship of Prayer. It maintains a dis- 
pensary in which free medical advice and medicines are given. 
Jhere are many schools under its direction — St Nicholas* 

Portuguese churches 


School for boys ; St. Joseph's School for boys and girls at 
Culon ; St. Anthony's School for boys and girls at Doripara ; 
St. Anthony's Convent School for girls ; Sunday School for 
boys ; Sunday School for girls ; Eleven Cathechism Schools 
in eleven villages. It also maintains Homes for the poor and 
the destitute such as St. Joseph's Cathechumenate for women 
St. Anthony's Cathechumenate for women and a Home for 


Tesgaon, Dacca 

This Church, dedicated to our Lady of Rosary, was built 
in 1679. The Madras Catholic Directory however gives the 
date of erection as 17 14. This is evidently wrong as there is 
an inscription in the Church bearing the date 1706 and as 
early as 1682 its parishioners are recorded to have been 700, 
exclusive of the Portuguese and their families.* The Church 
was re-built in 1779, in its present form. The stone floor is full 
of inscriptions to the memory of those who are buried be- 
neath it. The present congregation of the Church is 309. The 
Church was for a time the mother Church of many Churches 
in Bengal including those of Nagori and Chandernagore. 


Hasnabad, Dacca 

The original Church of Hasnabad was built in 1777, but it 
was broken down and the present one erected in 1888. In 
some old papers of the Church it is recorded that the first 
Missionary came to Hasrtabad as early as 300 years ago. The 
Zemindar of the place, enraged at his success amongst his 

* The Catholic Herald of India, Oct. 17, 1917, P- 697, n. 25. 


tenants, ordered the priest to be bound hand and foot and 
thrown into a well. But the priest having survived this 
treatment, the Zemindar taken by surprize made him the 
grant of land for erecting a Church.* It is scarcely possible to 
make out how much truth and how much fiction lie in such 
traditions. The Catholic population is 3,146. The Church 
maintains St. John's School for boys ; Our Lady of Rosary's 
School for girls, Sunday School for boys and girls. It has a 
Confraternity and three Sodalities. 

Tuital, Dacca 

The Church of Tuital was built in 1894 and is compari- 
tively modern. The villages of Old Tuital, New Tuital and 
Sonabazar were under the religious ministration of the Church 
of Hosnabad. But as these villages were distant from the 
Church of Hosnabad it was difficult both for the people to 
attend their religious duties and for the parish priest of Hosna- 
bad to minister to their religious welfare. Hence by the decree 
of the 25th May 1894, the Bishop of Mylapore, Dom Henrique 
de Silva had the Church of Tuital erected. 

Its parishioners number 920 and it maintains St. Thomas' 
School for boys, Our Lady of Lourdes' School for girls and 
a Sunday School for boys and girls. 


The Church was built in 181 5. Its parishioners number 
1125. It has a Confraternity of the Apostleship of prayer. 

* Allen; Dacca Gazetteer, p. 69. 



Shibpur, Bakarganj District 

The Portuguese Missionaries acquired the taluk of Shibpur 
in 1764, the lease being granted to Frey Raphael dos Anjos 
on or previous to the 9th Phalgun 1 171 B. S. by Rajah Raj 
Ballab Sein. In the decision of Sadr Diwani Adalat, dated 
1 8th April 1856, it is mentioned that the lease was granted 
by Rajah Pitambar Singh (Sein), Zemindar of Arangabad, 
who was the grandson of Rajah Raj Ballab. But Beveridge 
remarks that the date of the lease bears out the tradition that 
it was Rajah Raj Ballab who granted the lease. Pitambar Sein 
only confirmed the lease. "The tradition is," says Beveridge,* 
"that he (Raj Ballab) wanted to coerce his tenantry, who were 
inclined to be disobedient to him, and that he judged that 
Christians would be well fitted for the purpose, as mere contact 
with them would be sufficient to destroy the ryots' caste and 
that the latter would therefore gladly come to terms in order 
to avoid the visits of the Christian servants. He accordingly 
applied to the Portuguese Mission at Bandel for some Chris- 
tians, and four were sent to him. They afterwards applied 
to him for a priest, in order to perform their religious cere- 
monies. He procured one from Bandel and assigned him 
four pieces of land or howalas for his maintenance. The 
four Christians were put in charge of the property, but in 
consequence of their dissensions the howalas were formed 
into a taluq, and made over to the priest in trust for the 
mission." This priest was Frei Raphael dos Anjos. The 
taluk at present yields an income of about Rs. 800. 

The original Church in Shibpur was built by one Pedro 
Gonsalves, but in 1823 Manoel de Silva pulled it down and 

Beveridge, The District of B&karganj, pp. 106-107. 



constructed the present enlarged building with the funds left 
by his father Domingo de Silva 

Till 1836 the Portuguese Mission administered the Church 
in peace, but in that year, disputes arose between the Portu- 
guese and English Missions. St. Leger, the Vicar Apostolic 
of Bengal, attempted to bring the Church under his jurisdiction 
and dismissed the Vicar, Frey Jose das Neves, appointing 
Ignatius Xavier Mascarenhas to be the incumbent in Shibpur. 
Beveridge supposes that the parishioners of Shibpur, owing to 
their quarrels with the Vicar, placed themselves under the 
protection of Dr. St. Leger.* The Augustinians sued for 
recovery of their Church and lands and for twenty-one years 
litigation followed. Longman, the Judge of Bakarganj, being a 
Roman Catholic, desired that the suit be transferred to the court 
of the Judge of the Twenty-four Pargannas. This Judge, Robert 
Torrens, as well as the Sadr Diwani Adalat decided the suit in 
favour of the Portuguese priests who in 1857 not only 
recovered the possession of their Church and lands but obtained 
a decree for mesne profits. 

The parishioners of the Church number a thousand. It 
maintains a dispensary w here free medical advice and medi- 
cines, are given and has under it, St. Anthony's School for 
boys, St. Joseph's School for girls and a Sunday School for 
boys and girls. 

* The District of Bdkarganj, p. 108. 


Some Plants Introduced by the Portuguese in Bengal* 

The Portuguese not only brought to India new kind of goods, a new 
language and new creeds, but also added very much to the flora of 
India. The following is a brief list of some of the plants which Bengal 
owe to the Portuguese. Some of them were introduced directly and 
others found their way to Bengal from other parts of India where the 
Portuguese had introduced them. The list is, however, far from being 
complete as there are many plants which were not known in India before 
the arrival of the Portuguese and may have been introduced by them 
though there is no record of the fact. On the other hand, a few of the 
plants mentioned below have a doubtfut origin and it is only by botanical 
and not written evidence that it is ascertained that they owe their 
introduction in India to the Portuguese. Though in this line of enquiry 
much has been done, much has still to be done. Not only did the 
Portuguese bring new plants to India but they carried Indian plants 
to Europe, America, and Africa. Some kind of canes carried by the 
Portuguese from Bengal and used in the Portuguese army were called 
Bengalas and still the word is a common application to any sort of cane. 

I Achras Sapota (Sapolaceee) — Beng. Sapota, English, Sapodill 

This tree originally a native of America is cultivated in Bengal and 
on the Western Coast, its fruit being in great demand in the markets 
of Calcutta and Bombay. It is sold in Calcutta under the name of 
Mangosteen which it resembles. 

2. Agave Americana {Amaryllidece) — Beng. Jungli or bilati 
dnandsh, banskeora, bilatipdt, koyan incorrectly called murga murji. 
English, The American aloe, the century plant, the caraia. 

The plant was originally a native of America, and is supposed to 
have been introduced in India by the Portuguese. Vide Watt, Diet. 
Econ. Prod, of India. 

* The chief works consulted in the preparation of this list of plants, are 
Garcia d'Orta's Colloquios dos Simples e Dtogas e Cousas Medicinaes da India ; 
Watt's The Dictionary of the Economical Products of India, Dvmock's (and others) 
Phartnacographia Indica, G. Dalgado's, Flora de Goa and Savantvadi. I am also 
indebted to the articles on the subject of Mariano de Saldanha in the Oriente 
Portuguts, Nova Goa, vols. V and VI, 1908, and 1909. 



3. Allamanda Cathartica (Aflocynacea)— Vernacular, Jahari 

sontakka, pivli kanfier. 

This plant was introduced from Brazil by the Portuguese (Dymock 
Pharm. Ind.) It is a common creeper in Indian gardens. 

4. Anacardium Occidentale (Anacardiacece)— -English, Cashew 
nut, Beng. Hijli badam, kaju. 

This plant originaly introduced from South America is well 
established in the forests of Chittagong and all over the coast forests of 
India and Ceylon. Its name Bdddm-i-farangi among the Muhammadans 
and Boa Farangi in Amboyna (Rumphius) point to its being introduced 
by the Portuguese. 

5. Ananas Sativa {Bromeliacea) — Eng. Pine apple. Beng. Andnash 

Introduced in Bengal by the Portuguese in 1 594 from Brazil. This 
fruit was daily served at the table of Akbar each costing 4 dams ( T * 5 of 
a rupee). 

6. Anona Squamosa (Anonecea)— Eng. Custard-apple, Beng. Ata t 

The plant is well naturalized in Bengal. General Cunningham held 
that there is an exact representation of the plant in the Bharut Scriptures 
and also in the Scriptures of Ajanta caves, indicating that the plant 
was cultivated in India long before the Portuguese came. Watt, however, 
states that Botanical evidence is against Cunningham's contention. For 
other details, vide Watt and Hobson-Jobson s. v. Custard- Apple. 

7. Anona Reticulata (Anonacea)-Eng. The Bullocks heart. Beng. 
ndna. What is said of the Custard Apple applies to this plant,' 

8. Arachis Hypogaea (Legumtnosa;),— Eng. The Ground-nut, Earth 
nut or Pea nut. Beng. Mdt Kalai, chinar bdddm y bilati mung. v 

Introduced from Africa and America. Dymock thinks that the Ground 
nut reached India through China. Its Konkani name Mosbimchim biknam 
shows that in Western India the Portuguese must have introduced it 
from Mocambique, Africa. 

9. Argemone Mezicana (Papaveracea)—Eng. The Mexican or 
Prickly poppy. Beng. Baro-shidl hdnta, sial-kdntd. 

The plant is common in Bengal and in fact in the whole of India. 
Valued for its oil and medicinal properties. "Its use as an external ap- 
plication in conjunctivitis was probably introduced into this country with 
the plant by the Portuguese'*, Dymock, Pharm. Ind. 

10. Artemisia Sieversiana (Ctww/w/te)— The plant forms one of 



the kinds of Afsantin sold in Indian Bazars. The plants "were no doubt 
introduced into the country by the Portuguese", Dymock, Pharm. Ind. 

11. Averrhoa Bilimbi (Geraniacece)— Eng. Bilimbi tree. Beng. 

Introduced by the Portuguese in India probably from Moluccas. Cf. 
Dymock PAarm. Ind. Completely naturalized in India. In the courtyard 
of the Portuguese Church of Bandel there can be seen some of these plants, 
having been long ago planted by the friars. 

12. Averrhoa Carambola (Geraniacea) — Eng. Carambola tree. Beng. 
Kdmrdngd % kantarak. In the Sunderbunds the wood of the plant is 
used for building purposes and for furniture. Its apples are very pala- 
table when stewed. 

13. Capsicum frutescena (Solanace&)—Eng. Spur pepper, Cayenne 
chillies. Beng. Ldl or gach murich, lal lanka murich. 

Cultivated all over India and especially in Bengal Orissa and Madras. 
It is one of the chief condiments in India dietary. The Portuguese 
brought the plant to India from Pernambuco according to Clusius (quoted 
by Dymock). 

14. Carioa Papaya (Passijlora)— English, The Papaya tree, 
Beng. Pappayd) papeyd. 

This common plant in India was not known before the Portuguese 
came and Atkinson (quoted by Watt) affirms it was introduced by the 

15. Cerens Pentagonus {Cactece}— English, Cactus. 

This plant was probably introduced from Brazil by the Portuguese. 
Cf. G. Dalgado, Flora de Goa e Savantvadi. 

16. Citrus Aurantiam {Rutacece)— Eng. Sweet orange, Portugal 
orange. Beng. Kamld netnbu ndrengl, ndrengd. 

The controversy about the introduction of the orange-tree in India is 
a long one. It is admitted by most wi iters that there were orange trees 
in India as well as in Portugal long before the Portuguese came to India. 
It is more likely that the Portuguese introduced the plant in Europe. 
Watt says that the names Portogalls (Ital.) Protokhal (Alb.) and 
Portogal (Kurdish) "indicate the intimate relation which the Portuguese 
bore to the diffusion of the plant." There is no doubt the Portuguese 
spread the orange trees in India even though they were to be found 
before the arrival of the Portuguese. 

17. Curcuma Zedoaria (Sa'taminea)— Eng. Zedoary. Beng. Salt, 
short, kachura. 



This plant cannot be said to have been introduced by the Portuguese 
in Bengal for it seems to be a native of Chittagong but they spread it in 
other parts of India especially, as Dymock thinks, in Bombay. 

18. Durio Zibethinns (Malvacea)— Eng. Durian. 

According to G. d'Orta the Portuguese brought these plants to India 
from Malacca. 

19. Eugenia Malaccensis {Myrtacea)— Eng. Malay apple Beng. 
Malaca jamrul. 

This tree was brought to India from Malaca by the Portuguese. 
G. d'Orta says he himself planted some in his own garden. 

20. Garcinia Mangostana (Guttiferce)-Eng. The Mangosteen. 
Beng. Mangust&n. 

In Bengal the plant does not grow so well as in Burma and Madras. 
The plant unknown to India before the arrival of the Portuguese came 
from Malaca and G. d'Orta says he had planted some of them which 
shows the Portuguese were the first to introduce them in India. 

21. Indigofera Anil (Leguminoscp)—Eng. Indigo plant (not the 
commercial variety) Beng. Nil. 

Of this variety of Indigo plant, Watt says, " It nowhere exists in 
a wild state in India and was probably introduced during the period of 
Portuguese ascendancy in the Western and Southern Presidencies." 

22. Ipomecea Batatas (Convolvulace&)—Eng. Sweet potato 
Beng. Ranga-alit, lal-dlu (the red form) Chine alu (the white form). 

All forms of sweet potato are not native of India but have been 
introduce from Africa or Brazil probably by the Portuguese. Watt 
remarks that the Batatas mentioned by Linschoten were a form of 
Dioscorea (Yams). 

23. Jathorrhiza Calumba (Menispermacece)—Eng. Calumba. 
"The drug appears to have been first introduce into India by 

the Portuguese Fluckiger and Hanbury's researches have traced 

its introduction into Europe to the Portuguese as far back as 167 1." 
(Dymock Pharnt. Ind.) 

24. Jatropha Curoas (Euphorbiaca)—Eng. Physic Nut. Beng. 
Bdghr/nda, b&gh-bherenda. 

This plant is said to have been introduced from Brazil by the 
Portuguese ", Dymock Pharm. Ind. 

25. Jatropha Multifada {Enphorbiacee)— -Eng. Coral tree. 

" The plant appears to have been introduced by the Portuguese from 
Brazil ", Dymock, Pharm, Ind. 



26. Mirabilis Jalapa (Nyctaginece)— Eng. Marvel of Peru. Beng. 
Krishna-keli\ grdld-b&s. 

"Five varieties of this plant with red, white, yeilow, red and white, and 
red and yellow flowers were introduced from the West Indies in 1596 and 
must have been carried by the Portuguese to the East shortly afterwards, 
as the plant is said to have been introduced into Persia in the reign of 
Shah Abbas the first and was established on the Malabar Coast in the 
time of Van Rheede," Dymock Pharm Ind. 

27. Nicotiana Tabacutn {Solanacea\— Eng. Tobacco. Beng. Tamak. 
From the Mausir-i-talumi and the Darashikohi vit learn that Tobacco 

was introduced int# the Deccan by the Portuguese about A, H. 914 (A. 
D. 1508) and that it began to be smoked about 1605 towards the end of 
the reign of Sultan Jalaleddeen Akbar.''. Dymock, Pharm. Ind. Watt 
also admits that the Portuguese introduced the Tobacco plant in India. 

28. Opuntia Dillonii (Cactece)— Eng. The prickly pear. Beng. Samar. 
" It is most probable that it was introduced by the Portuguese", Watt. 

" This plant is a native of Mexico and Central America, and was intro- 
duced into India by the Portuguese, doubtless with the object of feeding 
the cochineal insect upon it, but it is uncertain whether they ever carried 
out their intention.". Dymo< k, Pharm Ind. 

29. Stnilax Glabra ( Liliacw )— Eng. China root. Beng. Harina- 

The shrub is abundant in Eastern Bengal, Sylhet and the Garo and 
Khasia hilis. Garcia d'Orta says that the plant was first introduced by the 
Portuguese into Goa from China about 1535. Dymock adds "The 
Portuguese however, appear to have lost no time in carrying it to their 
factories in Persia, as it was mentioned, a few years after its introduction 
into Goa, by Mir Imad-ed-din Mahmud of Shiraz Mirza Kazi of Yezd 
and Mir Muhamad Hashim of Teheran". 

30. Phemeria Acuti folia (Apocynacee?)— "Eng. Jasmin tree. Beng. 

"It appears to have been introduced into India by the Portuguese 
from Brazil, as it is usually planted in the churchyards of the native 
christians in order that it may deck the graves with its white deciduos 
flowers, which are produced almost all the year round." Dymock Pharm. 
Ind. C. T. Peters says that the plant is known as Dalana phula in 
Northern Bengal, where its milky juice has been found to be an effectual 
purgative (Quoted by Watt) 

31. Pflydium. Guyava (Myrtacece)— Eng. Guava Beng. Peyara t 



The guava-tree which is common in Bengal as everywhere in India, 
was introduced by the Portuguese from America (Royle). Cf. Watt 
Diet* of Econ. Prod. 

32. Spillanthes Acmella (Composite)— Eng. Pari cress. 

This plant cultivated thoughout India is " supposed to have been 
introduced into India form Brazil by the Portuguese" Dymock Phatm. 

33- StrychilOB Ignatii (Loganiacece)—En%. Nux-vomica or 
Strychnine tree. Beng. Kuchild thalkesur. 

This plant very valuable for preparation of strychnine was introduced 
in India by the Portuguese Jesuit Missionaries ' 5 Dymock Pharm. 
Ind. The plant is rather rare in Bengal, but common in Madras and 

34. Tagetes Ereota {Composite?) — Eng. The French and African 
marigolds. Beng. — Genda. 

" Rojia the name current in Western India perhaps denotes the 
introduction of the plant by the Portuguese with whom it appears to 
represent the Rosa do ouro or golden rosa, which the Pope usually 
blesses at Mass on Sunday in Lent " Dymock Pharm. Ind. 

35. Zea Mays {Graminea) — Eng. Maize, Indian corn. Beng. Janar, 
bhutta, fondr. 

It is probable that this important plant was introduced in India 
by the Portuguese. Cf. Watt's lenghty discussion {Diet, of Econ. 


Appeal of a Portuguese from Calcutta to Queen D. Maria I. 
of Portugal (1784) 

I give below a translation of an important document which was found 
by J. E. de Souza Vellozo in the archives of the great archaeologist Filippe 
Nery Xavier in Goa, and was registered in one of the volumes in the 
office of the Ouvidor of the City of Santo Nome de Deus in Macau. This 
document is published by Mr. Souza Velloso in O Oriente Portuguis t 
Nova Goa, 1906, Vol. Ill pp. 129-134. It is an appeal made to Dona 
Maria I, Queen of Portugal, by a Portuguese from Calcutta on the 31st 
of December 1784, regarding the rights and possessions of the Portuguese 
nation in Bandel, Hooghly. (For the attempts of the Portuguese Govern- 
ment to recover Bandel, Vide p. 148 et seq.) 



[P. 129] Your Majesty ! 

With due and most profound respect, your most obedient vassal 
appeals to your Majesty, representing through your Chamber of Commerce, 
the possessions and privileges which the Mughals of Delhi, conceded to 
the Portuguese nation in Bengal, and which are now forgotten • and 
[ showing ] how by obtaining them considerable benefit might result to 
the commerce of the vassals of your Majesty, and how these might be 
exempted from the burden which weighs on them, as they are obliged to 
deal in commerce with the English (nation) in their port of Calcutta, if 
your Majesty causes to examine through your Chamber of Com* 
merce what I propose in my letter, so as to grant it according to your 
Royal pleasure {agrado). I wish that this little demonstration may affirm 
{comfirove) before your Majesty my submission and obedience and res- 
pect, which with the greatest credit and honour of the faithful, humble 
and obedient vassal he professes to your Majesty. 

Calcutta 31st of December 1784 — George Germain. 

[P. 130.] Knowing through a long experience the trade of the whole 
of India and particularly the disadvantages which, through their com- 
mercial non-equality, the Portuguese are labouring under in Calcutta 
because they do not know their ancient possessions in Bengal I resolve, 
through my love for my country and nation, to expose through this nar- 
rative, what these possessions are. 

The Portuguese possessed in the year 1632 by means of a farman of 
the Mogor i.e. the Mughal Emperor on the borders of the river Hooghly in 
Bengal above Chinsura, the Dutch factory, the lands of Hooghly {Ugoly) 
which they peopled and called the city of Hooghly and [also possessed] 
the Bandel with 777 bighas of land contiguous and in a square, contain- 
ing the villages of Christians, Hindus and Moors. They enjoyed through 
these possessions various immunities, exemptions, faculties privileges and 
different parvanas, also conceded by the Mogor, such as of tobacco 
areca and salt. 

At this time the Mogor maintained a seraglio in the city of Hooghly 
and the Europeans who were there under one Correa the last Captain-in- 
chief* infringed upon the liberty of this seraglio and without attention 
or satisfaction, they continued in this behaviour, till at last the Mogor 
escandalized, sent troops from Agra, which rushed on the city of Hooghly 
and Bandel and put to the sword all the Europeans and Christians, 
who resisted, and the remaining they took prisonere before the Mogor. 

* According to Fr. Cabral the last Captain of the Portuguese in Hooghly was 
Manoel d'Azavedo. Vide Chap. XII. 




With them (prisoners) went Frei Joao da Cruz, Religious of St. Augus- 
tine and Vicar in Hooghly. This man was of an exemplary life and habits 
.and of an affable behaviour and at his instance the Mogor pardoned all 
the Portuguese and conceded liberty to the Portuguese to return to 
Bandel. He confirmed the possession of 777 bighas of land conceding 
them the same immunities, exemptions, faculties and privileges as before, 
by a new farman signed by his own hand in 1633, only with the reserva- 
tion that they should not convert the Moors to Christianity, and punish 
with death the subjects of the land without handing them over for the 
purpose, to the Faujdar at Hooghly, of the [P. 131] Nawab of Bengal, 
to whom only the right of such knowledge belonged. 

According to this, the Portuguese re-established themselves in the 
Bandel and as the Europeans (European Portuguese) went on dying, 
and there was no more attention paid to it (conditions of re-establish- 
ment) the Augustinians who had there a Parochial Church which they 
called a Convent, took charge of the land and of the Christians, who still 
are sub-ministered by the Prior. He and .the other Religious, thinking 
they were masters of the possessions, lost the farman of the Mogor as I 
shall presently tell, and after the English Company took possession of 
Bengal, and govern (now) with the title of Nawab, they (the English 
Company) arranged with the Prior and made him remain content with 
keeping for him in Bandel only 270 bighas of land,* telling that this was 
for the oil of the lamps, and gave him a document (jtapel) for this. 

The Priors subjected themselves to this, I do not know why, when other 
European nations which were in Bengal, at this time, did not suffer any- 
thing, neither the English usurped their factories ; and the 60 bighas of 
land which each of them have, they maintain in virtue of the respective 
farmans of the Mughal Emperor, their ports being protected and their 
commerce being indisputable. 

The Dutch then extended their factories to Patna on account of opium 
which they export, prohibiting this trade, especially to the English in 
their ports in Asia. 

The French imitated them in commerce and both of these nations 
with their meagre (tenues) possessions to negotiate in the land, without 
privileges, exemptions and prerogatives (regalias) as those of the Portu- 
guese nation, always gave trouble to the English after they (the English) 
possessed Bengal. 

The farman of Mogor was lost by Frei Jose d'Apresentag&o in the 
year 1740 when he was prior of Bandel and the reason was this : An 

• Vide p. 23a. ~ 


Englishman whose name I do not know, happened to die. This man was 
rich, brought there all his wealth and possessions and died without a will 
and heirs. In such matters the Nawab considering himself inheritor in 
places under his jurisdiction, the Faujdar inferred that it was 
Bandel, and consequently took possession of what belonged to the 

The Prior being frightened, applied to the Nawab to give satisfaction 
through one Antonio George, native christian, who was a favourite of 
the Nawab of Cuttack (Cataque). This Nawab was at this time Nawab 
of Bengal, to whom the Prior sent the farman through the said Antonio 
George, instead of a copy. The Nawab in view of the farman at once 
ordered the Faujdar of Hooghly to deliver, as he indeed did, all the goods 
of the Englishman to the Prior. But Antonio George refused to give it 
back and then died in his place near Dacca, the farman remaining in 
the possession of his family which denied it. There is a man, sixty years 
old, in Hooghly, named Ignacio Correa, who they say is a natural des- 
cendant of a European named Correa, the last Captain-in-chief of 
Hooghly, who has in his possession various f>arvanas of the powers and 
the privileges which the Mughals granted to the Portuguese. 

In the Convent of Bandel also, there are various papers of immunities, 
exemptions and privileges conceded by the Mughals to the Portuguese, 
which the Priests do not understand being in Persian and if they had un- 
derstood, they would know their value (soberido se ikes fasia con/a). The 
privilege of salt, according to the minutest (bem particular) informa- 
tion which I can have on everything, was sold by a Religious to an 
American for ten thousand rupees, who utilized it as long as he could till 
the English arrogated to themselves this contract. 

And the rights of tobacco, and areca nut are also forgotten, though 
they may be among the papers of the Convent and among the ones of 
Ignacio Correa. 

This well shows how all the papers are scattered. 
It is however the politics and the custom of the Mughals to 
keep always a general register in their court, in which everything is 
registered without failing (sent falencia\ besides many others (registers) 
in all its dominions ; there are near Hooghly certain brahmins of 
authority, who keep one of these registers [p. 133] with great care, so 
that the English might not destroy it, which they sometimes fear 
(atrapalha) very much and in it can be found all the information which is 
wanted. And there is no public or even private success (successful 
■event) that may take place among the English which does not appear in 



the gazettes which are scattered almost always from the court of Delhi 
in Calcutta in the Persian language and thus one can infer that all the 
grants of the Mughals to the Portuguese are registered in all these 
registers and in the general register, which shall serve for: all times 
whenever any document (papel) may be wanting. 

Considering that all these possessions and privileges (titulos) can 
be recovered, even though they are in a notable oblivion, provided that 
this is ordered and that there are faculties {disposi$des) for it, [and the fact 
of] there being no person with power and authority who may take 
cognizance of every thing, using caution and precaution with all, parti* 
cularly, with the Religious [ Priests ] the investigation will be more 
arduous ; but I shall do what I can to take copies of the originals, titles* 
faculties privileges, if I succeed in getting them from the Religious when 
I see this raises no suspicion • for if it is raised they would deny and burn 
all the papers, before there is one who can seize them by force, and 
compel them to give all satisfaction which may be necessary. 

Thus foreseeing all these circumstances, if I manage to get the origi- 
nals so as to copy them in Persian and in Portuguese, I shall send them at 
the first occasion to the Chamber of Commerce in order to lay them before 
Your Majesty ; but I cannot guarantee this, as I am only a private 
individual in these matters, which depend upon the facility (faculty ?) 
of the Religious. But as the possessions and rights of the Portuguese, 
nation in Bengal are for such a long time consigned to oblivion through 
the fault of the Priors of Bandel, who accommodated themselves to [the 
will of] the English without informing the Governor of Goa, [in spite 
of] having the farman and the other papers and titles at this time, 
which the Mogor never so far revogued and which still less the 
English had dared to infringe, it seems, with all due [P. 134] respect 
to be necessary that the commerce (commercial men) above all should 
implore the benign favour and grace of your Majesty, so that being, 
pleased (servtndo-se) to grant it, you may order your Government to 
interfere in the matter before the Mogor and that the latter may in 
attention to the distinguished request, renew by a new farman the 
ancient possessions, immunities, exemptions, faculties and privileges, 
by refering to its general register of all these concessions, if any papers or 
titles be wanting, with more faculties for whatever more may be consider* 
ed to be necessary to obtain, according to the proposal of the Plenipoten- 
tiary who may be entrusted with the orders of the Estate in this respect. 

(Done in ) Calcutta on the 51st of December 1784. 


Portuguese In Bengal, 1919. 

It /nee page 36} 




Henry Louis Vivian Derozio 

A Luso- Indian Poet 

IT is a memorable fact in the history of the Luso- Indians that, in 
general, they have never attained to any literary or scientific merit. From 
the surrounding gloom, there emerges, however, one illustrious and 
brilliant name, worthy to be inscribed in the Pantheon of the World's 
Poets — Henry Louis Vtvian Derozio, who blazed in the skies of the re- 
alms of poetry like a meteor and as quickly disappeared. An account of 
his life is a record of the achievements of only 23 years of existence. 
Yet this brief span of life sheds an undying lustre on the whole Luso- 
Indian community. 

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, the son of Francis Derozio was born in 
1809. The house in which he was born is still in existence. It is a 
large two storied building in Lower Circular Road facing the new St. 
Teresa's Roman Catholic Church. This house is distinctly shown as 
u Mr. Derozio's house'' in Major J. A. Schalch's Plan of Calcutta and its 
Environs (1825). That Henry Derozio was a Luso-Indian is beyond 
doubt because his grand -father Michael is mentioned in the Bengal 
Directory of ifgj as u a Portuguese Merchant and Agent" in Calcutta. 
But E. W. Madge has pointed out that in St. John's Baptismal Register 
1789 he ;s called a "Native Protestant.'' 

When a lad of scarcely eighteen summers, he published his first book of 
poems, which unlike the destiny of budding poets, met with immediate 
success. The poems were spoken of in the London press, and Dr. John 
Grant to whom the work was dedicated managed to give him an appoint- 
ment as sub-editor of the India Gazette in 1826 and soon after that of a 
professor in the Hindu College, now Presidency College. (As a professor, 
Derozio was remarkably successful. He taught literatare, history and 
philosophy and "possessed the rare power of weaving interest around 
any subject that he taught." He started an Academic Association, which 
was a sort of a debating club. Its meetings were attended by the elite 
of Calcutta, including Deputy Governor of Bengal, Chief Justice, Private 
Secretary to th e Governor and others. 

Beloved as he was by his pupils many of whom, like Peary Chand 
Mitra, became very distinguished men of Bengal, Derozio, played 
the role of a reformer. He worked for the emancipation of Hindu 
society and instilled into his pupils the ideas of liberalism, and taught 



them to think for themselves. But orthodox Hinduism revolted. 
Derozio was publicly denounced as having denied the existence of God, 
having taught that obedience to parents does not form any part of moral 
philosophy and even that marriages between brothers and sisters were 
permissable. But these were base calumnies, to which Derozio emphati- 
cally replied, "Not guilty." In a letter to Dr. H. H. Wilson he refutes 
what he calls " the infamous fabrications." An inquiry was instituted 
and though the charges against Derozio were proved to be unfounded, 
he was compelled to resign. His pupils, however, frequented his house 
where he taught just as he did in the school. As Edwards says, "the 
gifted Eurasian teacher philosopher and poet, during the short period of 
his connection with the Hindu College did more to arouse, quicken 
and impel the thought of Young India than any man then living or since 
dead." He indeed, was the oracle of Young Bengal, as he is called. 

Derozio' s journalistic career was remarkable. Under the pseudonym 
Juvenis he contributed to the Calcutta press when a young lad at 
Baghalpur. He helped his pupils to run a magazine called The Enquirer. 
He was sub-editor of the India Gazette which afterwards appeared as the 
Bengal Hurkaru and is now the Indian Daily News. He also conducted 
the Hesperus. His chief journalistic achievement was the The East 
Indian, a daily paper which he founded and edited till his death. 

Derozio was very tender and affectionate towards his friends and 
relations. He was lively and humourous in his conversation. He was 
an eloquent orator, as it was evidenced in the Town Hall meeting of 
March 28th, 1831, when, he made his great speech on the occasion of the 
return of J. W. Rickets who had gone to England with the East-Indians' 
petition to the Parliament. 

The fame of Derozio now chiefly rests on his poems. During his 
short life Derozio poured forth his heart in sweet lyrics, which though 
cannot be said to rise to the highest order yet betoken a poetic genius 
which in maturer years, might have greatly enriched the English literature. 
His poems are chiefly influenced by Byron, and like him. his feelings, his 
hopes and his disappointments constantly recur in his poems. He had all 
the pathos and depth of feeling of a poet. Music rings in his strains. 
Ornament and rich colouring abound in his stanzas. But there is lack 
of form and originality. In his only long poem Fakir of Jungheera 
which runs into two Cantos there is a wealth of Eastern imagery and 
the scenes breathe an oriental atmosphere. It has all the charm of 
Byron's Childe Harold or Scott's Martnion. D. L. Richardson included 
Derozio's poems in his Selections from the British Poets. Toru Dutt, 



(Bengal M agazine, December 1874), W.T.Webb {The Indian Review, 
December 1883), R. W. Frazer (The Literary History of India), have 
high encomiums for Derozio's poetry. References to Derozio are even 
found in Kipling's and Max Muller's works. 

As in the case of Keats, fate was unusually cruel to Arts. Death 
singled out the great Luso-Indian poet, philosopher and reformer, in the 
midst of his ambitions still unrealized and at a time when his genius was 
blossoming forth in the fairest flowers of the maymorn of his life. A 
victim to cholera, Derozio departed from the world on December 26th, 
1831, in the 23rd year of his life. 



Calcutta Literary Gazette, Nov. 10,1833. 
Oriental Magazine, Oct. 1843, Vol. I, No. 10. 
Calcutta Review, Vol. XIII No. 25, 1850. 

„ „ Vol. XVII No. 34, 1852. 

T. P. Manuel, The Poetry of our Indian Poets, 186 1. 
T. B. Lawrence, English Poetry in India, 1 869. 
Peary Chand Mitra, Biographical Sketch of David Hare, 1877. 
W. T. Webb, Anglo Indian Verse, Indian Review Dec. 1883. 
T. Edwards, Henry Derozio, the Eurasian Poet, Teacher and 

Journalist, 1884. 
H. A. Stark and E. W. Madge, East Indim Worthies 1892. 
E. W. Madge, Forgotten Anglo Indian Bards, A lecture 1896. 
C. E. Buckland, Bengal under the Lieutenant-Governors 1902. 
Rets and Rayyet, June 28, 1902, Article by Saroda P. Dey. 

Henry Derozio, Eurasian poet and Reformer, Lecture by E. W. 

Madge 1905. 

B. B, Shah, The Poetical Works of Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, 1907, 



Feringhi Kali, Calcutta 

At 244, Bowbazar Street, Calcutta, there is a temple of Kali known, very 
curiously, as Feringhi Kali. It is a little building in which the Kali stands 
on a white figure representing a dead male. This temple was built by a 
Feringhi (probably a Bengali Christian) named Antonio at the desire of 



a Brahmin widow, both of whom lived as husband and wife, though they 
were not married.* This Antonio had amassed immense wealth by trade 
and dwelt in Ghereti near Chandernagore, where the remains of his house 
can still be seen. Though he was a Christian he did not interfere with 
the religious views of the Brahmin lady and in fact joined in the Hindu 
ceremonies that were performed in his house. During the Hindu festi- 
vals his house was a resort of Kaviwallas who were a kind minstrels, 
consisting of men and women who went about singing songs and com- 
posing extempore verses on the highest religious subjects as well as on 
the lowest incidents of human life. He knew the Bengali language well 
and soon outrivalled the Kaviwallas in the composition of extempore 
verses. Leaving aside his coat and trousers he would wear the chadar and 
the dkoti and sing Bengali songs on the stage or in praise of the Goddess 
Kali. He indeed founded a party of Kaviwallas who excelled all others 
in satirical extempore compositions.t 

Wilson has another story about the foundation of the Feringhi Kali. 
He says,t " The kali was established by one Srimanta Dom§ of very 
low caste who himself used to perform the duties of the priest for a period 
of not less than 70 years to this goddess up to the time of his death. 
The Dom used to treat the people of this quarter suffering from small 
pox and for this reason an idol of Sitala is kept adjacent to that of Kali. 
In this way the Dom became popular among the Eurasian residents 
of this quarter thankful for cure from this particular disease. Hence 
the goddess has earned the name of Firinghi Kali " 


Early Indian Christians of Eastern Bengal 

The following excerpts from the Relation which the Father Provincial 
of the Congregation of St. Augustine of Goa, Frei Ambrosio de Santo 
Agostinho, gave to the Viceroy of India and which is preserved in the IJvro 
das Monies No. 125, fol. 3QI and published by J. H. da Cunha Rivara in 
O Chronista de Tissuari Vol. II, 1867, throw much light on the method of 
conversions of the Eastern Bengal Christians and the social conditions pre- 
vailing among then in 1750. I have followed the translation of Fr. Hosten 
in The Catholic Herald of India s Dec. 19, 1917 and succeeding Nos. 

* Dinesb. Chandra Sen, History of Bengali Literature^ p. 707. 

t For some of his satires Cf. Dinesh Chandra Sen. op. at. p. 708 etseq. 

X List of Ancient Monuments in Bengal 1896, Calcutta, p. 106. 

§ The doms are a caste of a very low type in Bengal. Bat Dom is also 
a honourable Portuguese title prefixed before a name, and many Indian Christians 
were at one time given this title. 



" The Christians of this particular Mission are all husbandmen (komems 
lavradores) who do not understand a word of Portuguese and they are and 
were all of them freemen, so that neither they* nor their fathers and grand- 
fathers, were ever bondsmen (captivos)... 

Here I must remark that our Christians of Bengala, whether those 
who dress after the fashion of the country or those who dress like Euro- 
peans, were all of them equal once they become Christians {alias que 
cardo Christdos) ; they eat and drink and intermarry without minding 
the castes to which they belonged in heathenism — a thing which does 
not happen in other Missions where the converts keep the castes they had ; 
and as they loose their castes all at once so too do they give up their 
heathenish belief, all of which is due to the good education our Religious 
Missionaries gave them from the beginning... 

The occult Christians of whom a greater number are converted, are 
the best Christianity, because they are people living in the fields and 
having no intercourse whatever with the towns, and also because they 
have not learnt and understood much of the accursed sect of Mahomed 
{Mafoma). These men are easy and docile to convert not the Gentios 
who are hard and wedded to their idolatries and their castes, so much 
so that it is very rare for one of them to embrace the law of Jesus Christ 
from really spiritual motives ; those of them who come over are those who 
first lost their caste ; their relatives refuse to receive them, and then they 
are obliged tobecome Christians ; for instance those who fall into captivity 
(slavery ?) those who wish to marry a Christian girl ; but those who be- 
longed to the law of (Mahomed) are converted for truly spiritual motives. 
They are occult because they haye not the permission from the Great 
Mogor to make use of their liberty for changing their religion, nor are 
we allowed under pain of death for us and them, to admit them to the 
Law of Jesus Christ... 

We have many Catechists who serve us without receiving any pay- 
ment from us because we have not the means ; their disciples both neo- 
phytes and catechumens maintain them. They call them masters {mestres) 
and treat them with every respect ; catechising has now become for them 
an occupation and a means of living... 

This is the way they are catechised. They begin to sing some canti- 
cles which they have, of the Mysteries of the Rosary. Dom Antonio com- 
posed them. And as the people collect to hear them and put some ques- 
tions about their meaning the occasion arises for conversion. These 
canticles are very pious and very devout and all the Christians of the 
mission, public and occult, know them and they are the Psalms with 



which they praise God both in the Church and outside it, according to 
the time of day (segundo os tempos).,. 

Martyrs killed in hatred of the Faith there are none because the 
Moors of Bengala are not enemies of the Christians ; they esteem them 
rather. Until now there never was any persecution in Bengala except 
when I was Rector, when there was a beginning of one, but it did not take 
effect, because the Moor would not... 

The Christians of Bengala are brought up in such a way that they are 
free from all error, or heathenish ceremony ; they are brought up like 
the Christians in Portugal and all the ceremonies of the Church are 
observed in the administration of the Sacraments. If we were to bring 
them up as they do the Christians of Malavar, we might have a 
greater number of Christians than we have ; but they (the Fathers) under- 
stood it was better to have few and good ones than to have many and bad 
ones. There are at present in this Mission 1,500 public Christians, and 
8,000 occult ones or 9,500 all together ; the Christians who dress like 
Europeans are 8,733 which with the 9,500 of the Mission makes 18,233 & 
little more or less..." 


The Dominicans in Bengal 

Among the Portuguese Religious Orders that worked in Bengal, 
the Dominicans remain to be mentiond. The Franciscans confined 
themselves to Burma and Arakan. But the Dominicans who had convents 
and houses in Goa, in other parts in Western India, in Ceylon, Cochim, 
Mylapore and Negapatam, also made Bengal for a time the scene of 
their activities. At the request of some Portuguese from Chittagong, Frey 
Gaspar d' Assumpcao and Frei Belchior da Luz came to Dianga in 1601 
and raised a Hermitage with a Church, which were however soon after 
burnt down and sacked by the King of Arakan during his war on the 
Portuguese. 1 * The Jesuits also suffered during this year and one 
of the eyes of Fr. F. Fernandes S. J. was nearly torn out {vide p. 102) 
The King however made peace with the Portuguese and desired the 
Friars to remain in his kingdom and even built a new Home and Churrh 
for the Dominicans at his own expense. The Dominicans however 

* Vide Frey Lois de Cacegas Historia de S. Dontingos 1767, Vol. Ill, 
Liv. chap. XI or Fr. Hosten's Translation in the Bengal Past and Present 
Jul— Sept. i9l4»PP'*- 5. 



did not remain long in Chittagong on account of the " danger and 
treacherous wars menacing their residence and the little protection 
it afforded." 


A Governor of Chittagong Slain by the Portuguese 

The following account of Caesar de Federici regarding the 
Portuguese of Chittagong in 1569 is interesting. Cf. Hakluytus Posthumus 
Purchase His Pilgrimes by Samuel Purchas Vol. X pp. 137—138, 
Glasgow, MCMV.) 

"This Hand is called Sondiva belonging to the Kingdome of 
Bengala, distant one hundred and twentie miles from Chatigan, to which 
place we were bound. The people are Moores, and the King a very good 
man of a Moore King, for if he had bin a Tyrant as others bee, he might 
have robbed us of all because the Portugall Captaine of Chatigan was 
in armes against the Retor of that place, and every day there were some 
slaine, at which newes wee rested there with no small feare, keeping 
good watch and ward aboord every night as the use is, but the Governour 
of the Towne did comfort us, and bad us that we should feare nothing, 
but that we should repose our selves securely without any danger, 
although the Portugals of Chatigan had slaine the Governour of that 
Citie, and said that we were not culpable in that fact • and moreover 
he did us every day what pleasure he could, which was a thing cont- 
rarie to our expectations considering that they and the people of 
Chatigan were both subjects to one King." 


Luso-Indian Names 

To the Luso-Indian surnames mentioned on pp. 179-180, the following 
may be added :— 

Coelho, Cunha or D'Cunha, Gabriel, Joaquim, Luz or DeLuz, Rangel, 
Rego, Sanches or Sanges, Vieyra. 



Abakash, Muhammad Beg— 164. 
Accounts of the first Portuguese 

Settlement,— 49- 
Achin, King of— 86. 
Ad&lat, Sadr Diwani— 251-252. 
Adil Khan— 129. 
Alderly, Lord Stanley of— 76. 
Adhiganga— 23, 114. 
Affonso V, Dom— 7, 8. 
Afghans— 1 9« 

Africa— first foothold in, 3, 4; 

rounding of the southernmost 

point of, 11. 
Aghardi, Mods., ho. 
Agra— Augustinians taken to, 106 ; 

miracles in 146, 147 ; treatment 

of prisoners in 139: troops from 


Am-i-Akbarl— 55, 57* 64- 

Akbar— 22, 47, 67,* I28 » 161 ' char * er 
of, 50 ; conquest of Bengal by» 
48 ; farman to Fr. de Cruz of 
149 ; farman to Tavares, 52, 103, 
148, 228 ; grants 53, 54 ; sends 
for Fr. Pereira, 53, io°, 101 ; 
sends for two Portuguese, 51, 

Akbarnama— 52, 54, 55. 
Alamgirnama, accounts of conquest 

of Chittagong— 165. 
Albergaria, Lopo Soares de— expe- 
dition by, 27. 
Albuquerque, Affonso de— 170- 
AlfuKhan— 34. . _ i 
Alcocorado, Jorge,— m Chittagong, 

Atamanfa— daughter of, 85, 86; 

death of, 85; son of, 85, 86. 
AUvardi Khan— 126, 190. 
Aroboina— capture of the fort of, 

123- . , 

America— savages in 15; traders 

from, 13. 

American, An— privilege of salt sold 

to, 261. 
Amirza Khan — 42. 
Amsterdam — 123. 

Anaporan — daughter of, 85, 86; dis- 
putes of 84 ; identity with Manri- 
que's Alamanja, 85 ; widow of, 87. 

Andrade, Dom Ruy Freire de,— 86. 

Aernao Peres d', — 28, 30; good 
treatment from 29; Mission of 26. 

Andrd, Dom Frei — 104. 

Angedive, fort at— 14. 

Angelim, vide Hljill. 

Anglo-Indians — 183, 200. 

Anhaya, Fr. Manoel da — in Agra 

Anjos, Frei, Luis dos-purchase of 

Nagori by, 248. 
Anjos, Fr. Raphael dos, 251. 
Antonio — erection of Feringhi Kali 

by, 265 ; religion of 266. 
Antonio de Rozario, Dom — vide 

Antwerp, 123. 

Aquaviva, Fr. Rodolfo— mission of 

Arabia— goods from, 16 ; traders 
from 13. 

Arakan— 27, 30, 57, 154, 156; 
Augustinians in, 105 ; churches 
in, 107 : defeat of King of, 87 ; 
De Rozario taken to, 247 ; King 
of, 30, 67. 68, 69. 70, 7L 72. 78, 
79, 81, 84, 85, 86, 87, ioi, 102, 
124, 130, 154, 155, 156, 158, 162, 
164, 165 ; kingdom of, 77 » king 
sends succour, 137, 138 ; fight 
between the Portuguese and 
Dutch at, 124 ; Fr.Cruz in, 146 ; 
Gonsalves plan to conquer, 154 ; 
Manrique in, 150 ; Portuguese in, 
104 ; Queen of, 70 ; Raja of, 21 ; 

Archaeology— 174. 
Arguin— discovery of, 7 ; first mili- 
tary fortress built in, 7- 



Armenians in Fort George— 191, 

Ascension Island— discovery of, 12. 

Asiaticus— 131, 132, 133, 145, 230, 
235i 237, 246. 

Assam— language of 174 ; Luso- 
Indians in, 177, 203. 

Assamese language—Portuguese 
words in, 203. 

Assumpcao, Fr. Francis d'— 240. 

— — Gaspar de — 268. 

Fr. Manoel de— 206. 

Augustinians — at Angarcale, 105 ; 
at Balasore, 105 ; at Ossampur, 
105 ; at Rangamati, 105 ; at 
Chandernagore, 108; children 
with, 85 ; come to Bandel, 228 ; 
in Arakan, 105 ; in Calcutta, 
109 ; in Catrabo, 104 ; in Chitta- 
gong, 109 ; in Dacca, 92, 104 ; 
in Goa, 86, 103, 104, 107 ; in 
Hooghly. 103, 106, 107; in 
Noricul, 104 ; in Sandwlp, 104 ; 
in Sripitr, 104 ; property of, 148, 
149, 150, 151 ; Provincial of, 142 ; 
return to Bandel of, 106, 229. 

Aurangzeb— farman of, 126. 

Azavedo, Duarte de— sent as am- 
bassador, 33, imprisonment of 

Jeronymo de— expedition of 154. 

Dom Luis de — return to Goa 

of, 155, 156. 
——Manoel de, — builds a fortress at 

Saugar, 139; defence of Hooghly 
by, i33i 135 ; in Hooghly, 60. 
Azores— discovery of, 6. 


Babar— 1, 36. 
Bactria— 13. 

Badshahnama— 58, 134; on the 
settlement of the Portuguese in 
Hooghly 47-48 ; on the siege of 
Hooghly 132 ; on the character 
of the Portuguese, 161 ; 

Bagdeshwar (Balthazar)— 198. 

Baillie, 191. 

Bakarganj— feringhis of 197, 202, 
203; settlements In 90, 91 
pirates in, 163 ; church in, 251, 
252; 175. 

Bakla— 71 1 King of 8 r, 83, 84, 91 ; 
Settlement in 91 ; Jesuits in, 101, 

Bakthyar Khilji— 19. 

Balasore— 99, 141 ; slave trade in 96, 

97 ; Churches in 107 ; English 

factories in 125 ; Danes 

at 126. 

Ballasara, Baleswer, vide Balasore. 
Balaghar— 145. 

Bali — Churches and buildings in, 

Ballab Sein, Raja — grant of a taluk 
to the Portuguese, 25 c 

Bandola — defeated by the Portu- 
guese 79. 

Bandel— 45, 46, 63, 130, 131, 136 
145, 149, 251, 258, 259, 260, 261. 

Bandel Convent and Church-56, 94, 
107, in, 135, 152, 174; Privileges 
of, J 42, 143, 144, 231 ; priors of 
149, 231, 260, 262; history of, 
228-238 ; nunnery in 235, 236 ; 
alleged immorality in 236 

Banja— Church in 96, 107; 139. 
Banzia— vide Banja. 
Bar, Partab- 52, 53 
Baranagar— Dutch factory in, 125 
Barbosa, Duarte de— 75 
Barbier Fr. — his description of an 

Episcopal vistlation 98, 108, 

Barielore — 15 
Bareiros, Gomes — 137 
Barrackpore — 23 

Barrettos, The — 188, 189, 242, 243, . 

244, 246, 247. 
Barros, Joao de— 20, 21, 25, 32, 35, 

64, 74i 77, 90, 92. 
Basra— 172 
Bassein— 15, 32 

Basurba, Partab Bar's wife— 52 

Baticola — 14, 15, 124. 

Bellamy, Lieut. — 191. 

Bengal— 13, 14, 15, 41; state of 
Bengal at the advent of the 
Portuguese 19—25; an attraction 
for pirates 24; its trade 26, 112 
— 1 20 ; local industries 117, 118, 

Bengala, City of— 75, 76. 
Bengalas, The— 20, k 21, 42. 


Bengali language — the influence of 
the Portuguese language on, 174 
204; Portuguese words in 214, 

Benin, King of— 8, 9. 
Bernaldes, Damiao — 34, 159, 160. 
Bettor (Howrah)— 49, 113, 114, 

Bernier, Francois— 64, 107, 132, 152, 
165 ; his description of the 
cruelties suffered by the captives 
of Huoghly 139, 140; his account 
of practises of the pirates, 162 
163, 164. 

Beveridge, H.—25, 73,91,92,156, 
197, 251. 

Beverley, H.— 182, 195, 199, 202, 

203, 206. 
Bey, Husain— 157. 
Bhulua— kingdom of, 86, 87, 93. 
Bhuyis of Bengal— 86, 90, 91, 92. 
Bie, Danish Governor—- 246. 
Bihar — 41. 

Birch F. W.— 198, 199. 

Blaev—74, 77, 90, 92- 

Black Hole — 35 ; Luso-Indians in 

the Black Hole, 191, 192. 
Blanco, Cape— 7. 
Blochmann - 53, 64, 92. 
Bocarro, Antonio— 64, 85. 
Boitakhana — 1 1 1 ; history of Boita- 

khana Church, 243, 244. 
Bojador Cape — doubled, 6. 
Bolts— 163. 

Bonfield, Mrs. Philadelphia— 243. 
Borneo— 15, 51, 115. 
..Botelho, Nuno Alvares-86. 
Boughton, Dr. Gabriel— 125. 
Bouriganga— 88. 
Boves, Fr. Andre— 101, 102. 
Bowrey — 152, 232. 
Brahmaputra — 57. 
Brahmins— 32. 
Bradley-Birt— 89, 90. 
Briton Affonso Vaz, de— 39 40. 
Brito, Antonio Gil de— 63. 
Brohier — 241. 

Broucke, Van den— 23, 25, 64, 74, 77 

Burdwan — 36. 

Burma— 70, also vide Pegu and 

Burnell, A.— 47i 208. 

Butler, Rev. Henry— 241. 

Busna, King of— 247, also vide 

Buzurg Umed Khan— 164. 
Buzurgumedpur — 198. 


Cabral, Alvares— 12, 17. 

Antonio— 51. 

Fr. Joao— 55, 56, 58, 62, 105, 

106, 129, 130, 132, 134, 136, 137, 

138, 139. 
Cadamosto, Luigi — 7. 
Cairo— 9. 

Caetano Padre— 242 ; vide Madre 

de Deus. 
Calacature — 124. 

Calcutta — 23 ; its origin, 114 — Luso- 
Indians in, 200; siege of 191, 
192 ; Churches in, 238, 245. 

Calicut— 9, 14, 25. 

Cambay — 13, 16, 40. 

Camoes, Luiz de— 1, 16, 66. 

Cananore— 9, 14, 124. 

Canara — 16. 

Canton— 14. 

Cao Diogo — discovers Congo, 8. 

Cape, Rev. John— 261. 

Captains in Hooghly — 62. 

Capuchins in Chandernagore — 108. 

Caranja— 69 

Careri Gemelly— 96. 

Carew, Archbishop Patrick— 243. 

Cartwright— 98, 141. 

Carvalho Domingo— in Hooghly 59, 
his victories in Sandwip, 69, 71, 
72 ; death of 73 » 9°» 9*» 102, 

Casa de Misericordia— 134, 135. 
Casern — 16. 

Castanheda, Fernao Lopes de — his 
account of Settlements in Sat- 
gaon and Chittagong ; 46, 43, 50, 
64, 66. 

Castro, Fr. Joseph (S. J.)— 108. 

Dom Joao de— 121, 137, 

Catrabo— 91, 92 ; Augustinians in 

104 ; Churches in 107. 
Catrou Fr.— 132. 
Caturs— 69, 71. 
Cervalius — viae Carvalho. 
Ceuta— 2, 3. 



Ceylon— 2, 12, 14, 15, 27, 30,63* 

115, 134* 154* 162, 163, 170. 
Cha Safi III — 1 18. 
Chacomas, King of— 78. 
Chakaria— 31, 32. 
Chale— 15. 

Chambers, Sir Robert— 237. 
Chandecan— 72, 90, 91 ; king of 

101 ; Jesuits in 102. 
Chandemagore— 23, 125, 126, 108, 


Chandi— -23, 64, 112. 
Cbandpur, churches in — 107. 
Chanquos — 115. 
Chandradwip— 91. 
Charnock Job— 109. 
Chatigan— vide Chittagong 
Chaul— 15, 16, 
Chick's Census— 198. 
Chitpore— 114. 

China — explored, 12 ; settlements in 
14; trade of, 13, 15,26, 55, 115, 
no, 120. 

Chinsura— 23 ; Churches in in, 
245, 246; Dutch in 125. 

Chittagong— 33, 37, 45. 46, 47, 55* 
56, 61, 159, 160, 174 ; a centre of 
trade, 21, 112, 113; Silveira in, 
27, 28, 30 ; burning of, 36 ; first 
settlement in, 39, 40 ; disputes in 
42, 43 ; Linschoten's description 
of, 60 • Portuguese doings in, 66, 
67. 68, 69, 70, 71, 73. 74, 75, 76, 
77, 78, 81, 87, 89; Augustinians 
in, 104, 105 ; Churches in, 101, 
187; christians in, 104, 105, 
267, 268; Captain in, 130 ; 
pirates in, 131, 162 ; offered 
to Mughals, 158 ; Shatsta Khan's 
conquest of, 127, 164, 165, 166, 
167 ; Feringhis of, 167, 168, 177* 
190, 200-202, 203 ; a governor 
slain by the Portuguese, 269. 

Christians— 25, 141, 142, 143, MS. 
146, 147, 149, 265, 266 ; of East- 
ern Bengal, origin and conver- 
sions 266-268. 

Churches— 100- 10 1 ; 228-252 ; 

Choromandel- 84. 

Chunar— 41. 

Christo, Fr. Antonio de— 106. 
Cintra, Pedro de— 8. 
Clarke— 205. 

Clergy— 61, 62 ; ioo- 1 1 1 . 

Clive, Lord— 193, 194 i his know- 
ledge of Portuguese, 205. 

Cobbe, Rev/Richard— 241. 

Cochin— 2 j 28, 40, 101, 102, 103, 
124; factories and fostress 
established 14 ; trade with, 16, 
116 ; diocese of 104 ; 162, 172. 

Codovascam— vide Khuda Baksh 

Coelho, Joao— 27, 28, 29, 30, 32. 
Coge Sabadim — vide Khajeh Shiab- 

Coge Sukurula— 33. 
Coito, Antonio de— 242. 
College, Jesuit— 135. 
Collet, letter of— 187, 191, 192. 
Colley, Thomas— 150. 
Colombo— 124, also vide Ceylon. 
Columbus— 5, 8. 
Company, Portuguese— 120. 
Conceicao, Fr. Simao de— 245. 
Congo — 2, 8. 
Conti, Nicolo— 2. 
Cornelius, Charles— 244. 
——Maria— 193. 
Correa, Christovam— 47. 
—Gas par— 47, 64. 

Ignacio - 261. 

Joao-38, 39, 46, 47. 

Coote, Sir Eyre -233. 
Cosses— 69, 71. 

Cossigny, Charpentier— his descrip- 
tion of Bandel, 237, 238. 
Cossimbazar— 125, 190. 
Costa, C. da— 176. 
Cotta, King— 31. 
Couto, Pedro de— 106, 137. 
Covilhao, Peres de— 9, 10. 
Cowper— 231. 
Cowries — 115. 
Coxabanga— 247. 

Crawford, Lt-Col. D. G.~ 45, 145, 

Cri Ramapur— vide Serampore. 

Cru2ado— 33. 

Cruz, Joao da— 103, 106, 145, 146, 

147, 234, 235, 260. 
Cuama Rivers— 15. 
Cunha, Nuno de— 32, 33, 35, 37, 

40, 41, I2i, 159, 160. 
Cunha, Tristao de— 12, 32. 
Cuttack, Nawab of— 261. 




Dacca — Churches in 89, 107, xu, 
250 ; factory in, 89 ; Luso- 
Indians in, 177, 202 ; Nawab of, 
88, 93, 153: muslins, 22, 118; 
settlements in 90 ; 132, 136, 157, 
158, 166, 261. 

Dakhin Shahbazpur— 82 ; seized by 
Gonsalves, 84. 

Dalgado, Mons. R.— 208, 216. 

Dairy m pie — 76. 

Damaon — 15. 

Danes— in Bengal, 126. 

Daud Khan— 19, 86. 

Deistermann, Fr. George, (S. J.) 
—death of, 109. 

Delaunoit, Fr. (3. J.,) — 109. 

Delhi — 19. 

Derozio, Henry Louis Vivian — 263- 
265 ; list of authorities for the 
biography of, 265. 

Descendants, Portuguese, vide, 

Deus, Gaspar de — 102. 

Dey, Shumbhoo Chunder— 45. 

Dianga — 82, 156; Dominicans at, 
268 ; escape of Gonsalves from, 
81 ; Manoel de Mattos in, 68, 
78 ; Massacre of, 80, 81, 159; 
Portuguese of, 69 ; position of, 
76, 77, 78 ; settlement at 74, 77, 
78, 158. 

Dias, Bartholomeu — 17 ; rounds 
the Cape of Good Hope, 10, 11 ; 
voyage of, 11. 

» Duarte — sent to Gaur, 37. 

Fr. Pedro, (S.J.,) comes to 

Bengal, 100. 

Dilal Khan —157. 

Dinemardanga — 126. 

Dinghas — 138. 

Discoveries, Portuguese — 5-18. 
Diu — Forts in, 15 ; siege of, 137. 
Dominicans — in Bengal, 268, 269 ; 

in India, 100 ; sufferings of, 70. 
Dom Manik Islands — 175. 
Drake governor — account of, 191 ; 

appoints Butler, 241. 
Driver, Thomas— 242. 
Dubois, Abbe— 184. 
Dum-Dum — Church in, 246, 247. 
Dumghat— 90. 

Dupleix — 126. 

Dutch— 115, beginnings of trade of, 
123 ; combine with the English, 
124; factors, 147; Factories, 
259, 260 ; Fartnan of, 151 • fight 
with the Portuguese, 123, 124, 
155 ; fleet enters Bengal 124, 
154 ; in Bengal, 126 ; language 
in the East, 173 ; prudence of, 
17 ; records of, 138 j rivalry with 
Portuguese, 152 ; seek trade, 
16 ; ships of, 124, 143 ; success 
of, 123. 


East India Company— charter of, 

1 ; records of 115. 
Ecclesiastical supremacy in civil 

matters — 122. 
Ega, Conde de— proposal of, 120. 
Elizabeth, Mrs. Grace — work of, 


Elizabeth, Queen — 1. 

Ellerber, Major — 168. 

England — ally of Portugal, 5 ; helps, 
in the expedition to Centa, 4. 

English— 17,261 ; attempt at trading 
in Benglal, 125 ; combine with 
Dutch, 124; in America, 16; in 
Bengal, 125, 151, 1 52 ; language, 
Portuguese words in, 208-214 ; 
policy at sea of, 160. 

Ermo, Antonio do— 102. 

Errors about the Portuguese— 45. 

Eurasions — 183. 

Expeditions, Portuguese — to Bengal, 

26-43, '40- 
Exports, Portuguese— 117. 
Farhad Khan— 166. 


Faria y Souza, Manoel— 15, 45, 87 

132, 138, 154, 155, 156. 
Faridpur — King of, 247. 
Fateh Khan — attacks Portuguese 

82 ; brother of, 83 ; defeat of 

82; murders Portuguese, 82 ; 

165 ; revenge of murders of, 84, 
Fatehpur Sikri— court in, 100. 
Fedenci, Caesar de — 49, 50, 88, 1 13, 

114, 119. 




Feringhis — 47, 182 ; description of, 
168 • in Chittagong, 196, 197 ; 
practices of, 163, 164, 165. 

Fennghi Bunder— 175. 

Feringhi Bazar— 89, 166, 175. 

Feringhi Kali— 265, 266. 

Fernandes, Fr. Francisco, (S. J.) — 
°4» 77. 78i 9i » 92, iot, 102. 

Ferreira, Fr. Caspar, (S. J.)— 106. 

Ferranduz, position of— 38. 

Fialho, Fr , (S. J.,) death of,— 106. 

Filippe— 102. 

Firuz Shah, murder of - 34. 

Fitch, Ralph— 55, 58, 61, 88, 95. 

Fleming^ The — 126. 

Flemish— 123, 126. 

Fonseca, Fr. Melchior de, (S. J.) — 

grant to, 91, Success of, 101. 
Fort— in Hooghly, 46, 58, S9» 6o, 

134 ; of Chittagong— 67 ; Gusta- 

vus, 125. 
Franciscans— 100, 122, 268. 
Freire, Nuno Fernandes — 34 40, 

42, 43, 66 • appointed chief of 

Custom House of Chittagong, 

39, 46, 47. 
French, the— 17, 108, 126, 260. 
Fulta, Dutch at— 125. 

GaIle-15 ; taken by the Dutch, 

Gallos, IUha de— 175. 

Gam a, Estevao de — 121. 

— Vasco da— 11, 12, 17, 25, 26, 

Gambia —7. 

Ganges— 56, 57, 81, 88, 116, 117, 

160, 162. 

Garcia, Fr. Manoel— 106. 

Garden Reach — 113. 

Gaur-19, ai, 3*1 33. 35» 37, 38, 40, 

4I»66» "3- 
Gauripur— 64. 

Geonkhali, Feringhis in— 95, 200. 

George, Antonio— 261. 

Germain, George — 150 • his appeal 

to Queen of Portugal, 258-262. 
Ghrabs — 138. 

Gil Eannes— Doubles Cape Bojador, 

Gibraltar— 5, 14. 

Goa— 2, 9, 13, 14, 16, 26, 71, 81, 84, 
86, 95, io», 102, 103, 112, 122, 
124, 140, 154, 159, i62» 163, 

Goans— 178, 199, 200. 

Godinho, Antonio de George— 67, 


Gcethals, Archbishop— 243. 

Gollye— 116; Vide Hooghly. 

Gomes, Fernao — 8. 

— -Fr. Pedro— 106. 

Jose de SanAgostinho— 231. 

Thomas — 198. 

Gondalpara — 126. 

Gonsalez — vide Gonsalves. 

Gonsalves Tibau, Sebastiao— 20 ; 
his rise, 81-87 i his fall, i54- I 57- 

Pedro— 251. 

Joseph — 245. 

Gorij or Ghari— 38. 

Good Hope, Cape of— 8, 15. 

Goss — 247. 

Grant, Captain— 192. 

Griffith, Mrs. Rita— 243. 

Gromalle — 28. 

Guazils— 34, 46, 62. 

Gujrat, Muhammadans of— 32. 

Hamilton, Captain Alexander— 119, 
126 ; his account of the 
Feringhis, 167 j of the Portu- 
guese language, 173 5 237- 


Hardwick, Major General— 246, 247. 
Harishar— 64, p8. 

Harishpur — 141, 142. r 

Hasnabad, Church of— in 164. 

Hassan, Abul— 164. 

Hayter, Lieut.— 233. 

Hazipore — 41. 

Heber, Bishop— 186. 

Hedges, William— 93, 95, 98. 

Helena, St.— Discovery of, 12. 

Hemo, Mons. — 242. 

Henry, Prince— 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17. 

Henrique, Dom — 123. 

Herodotus— 2. 

Heyligers— 170. 

HTjlll — 2 ; 83, 93, 139, ri2, settle- 
ments in, 94, 95, 96 ; churches 
in, 96, 104, 107 ; Lrade in, 119 ; 
pirates in, 159. 



Hill, S. C.-187. 
Hindus— 20. 

Hindustani language— 174 ; Por- 
tuguese words in, 223-227. 
Hipparchus — 3. 
Hispania— 2. 
Hogla reeds — 63, 64. 
Holwell — 191, 192. 
Holy Ghost, Church of— 250. 
Horn anus— 76 

Hooghly— 15, 21 ; 72, 84, 86, 88, 91, 
112, 113 ; settlements in 44-65 ; 
writers on, 43 ; foundation of, 53, 
54 ; derivation of 65, 66 ; Govern- 
ment in 60 ; captains in 60 ; 
industry in 118, 120; the fall 
of, 128-140; causes of the 
siege of, 128-132 ; siege of 132- 
138 ; flight from, 136 ; capture 
of 136; survivors from, 139; 
prisoners from, 139; losses 
in the siege of, 138 ; the 
Portuguese return to, 141- 153; 
Jesuits in 100, 101, 102, 108, 109 , 
Augustinians in, 103, 104, 106, 
107, 108; the dutch in, 124, 125, 
the French in, 126; the Danes in, 
126; Portuguese in 159, 161, 163, 
168, 175, I77» 190 204 ; sack of 
Hooghly, 193 • Luso- Indians in 
200; Bandel Church in, 274, 228,- 

Hooghly River— 21, 22 ; topography 
of, 23, 24; trade in, 114. 

Hosten, Fr. H. (S J.)— 49, 65, 76, 
90, 92. 93, 107. 108, 109, 132, 
146, 147, 224, 230, 232, 236. 

Hoult, Van der— 32, 

Hughes— 116, 125. 

Humiyun— 24, 36, 128. 

Hunter, W. W.— 98. 

Husain Shah, Syud— 19. 


Iberia — 2. 

Inayath-ulla— given charge of the 

army, 133. 
Incarnacao, Fr. Francisco de,— in 

Agra, 106. 
Ingele islands of— 93. 
Islam Khan— 88. 


Jafnapatam — exports of, 16; founda- 
tion of, 14; taken by the Dutch, 

Jahanglr— 131 ; death of, 129 ; far- 
man of, 149 ; offer of, 88 ; 
Portuguese in favour with, 67, 

Jalbas— Vide Jaleas. 

Jaleas — 59, 69, 138, 165. 

Japan — trade with, 15, 115. 

Jarric, Fr. de, (SJ,) 54,59, 67, 73. 

74. 78, 131. 
Java— trade with, 13 
Jessore — 90, churches in, 107. 
Jesuits — letters of 146; power of, 122; 

return of, 108, 229; sufferings of, 

70 ; with Akbar, 53 ; work of 


Jesus, Fr. Bernardo de — as superior, 

105 ; murder of 106. 
Jesus, Maria, Jose— foundation of 

the church of, 246. 
Jesus, Izabel de— 236. 
Jete — fort in, 15. 

Joao 1 1, Dom— treats Columbus as a 

visionary, 8. 
Joao III, Dom-reign of, 14, 15. 
Johannes — 198. 
Josson, Fr. H., (S.J.),— 102. 
Juncalao— 71. 


Kali, Feringhi, Vide, Feringhi Kali. 

Kambu, Bahadur— 133. 

Kamran — 41. 

Kanouj— battle of 41. 

Kar n aph u 1 i —74-77. 

Kasr-el-Kebir— fighting at, 123. 

Katrabo, Vide, Catrabo. 

Karanani, Sulaiman-dynasty of, 48. 

Kavi wallas — 266. 

Kedar Rai — 72. 

Kegeria— Isiands of, 93. 

Kasim Khan — appointed Governor 
of Bengal, 129 ; attack on 
Hooghly of, 132, 133 ; report of, 

Khajeh Shiab-ud-din — 31, 33, 160. 
Shere— 133, 134. 



Khafi Khan— 58, 132, 134, 160, 161. 
Khijri, Vide, Kegeria. 
Khizrpur— 92. 

Khuda Baksh Khan— 31, demand of, 

32, disputes of 42. 
Khurrum, Prince— revolt of, 128. 
Kiernander, Rev. John Zachary, 

205, 241. 
Kintalis— 183. 
Kloguen, Cottineau de, 238. 
Kankan, Kobi— 23, 112. 

Lackersteen, Count John— 243. 
Lact, Joannes de— 23, 64, 97. 
Lafitau— 171. 

Lahori, Abdul Hamid— 41, 47, 48, 

Laines, Bishop — 108, 168, 236. 
Lakhya— 92. 
Lakbipur— 87. 

Language, Portuguese— influence of 
172, 173; words in Assamese 
from, 220*222; words in Bengali 
from, 214-220; words in English 
from, 208*214; words in Hindus- 
tani from, 223-227 words in 
Oorya from 222-223. 

La Touche, 92. 

Laval, Pyrard de, 16, 117, 120. 
Law, Jean— 19. 
Leal, Philip— 244. 

Linschoteta, Huygens Van— 58, 60, 

61, 74. 90, -24. 
Lockyer— 173* 
Lodi Dynasty— 19. 
Lodi Kings— 48. 
Longman— 252. 

Long, Rev.-4S, 58. 59. H5. 237, 

2 3°» 2 35- , t . 
Loricul— 89, 92 ; church in 92, 93, 

Louis I, Dom— in. 

Louri^al, Marquis of— 92. 

Lakshimanya, Raja— 20, 42. 

Lusiadas, Os— 1, 17. 

Luso-Indians— 170-172, 178, 182-187 
in Chandernagore, 192; life of, 
194, 195; list of merchants 187, 
188; soldiers among, 190-194; 
statistics, 198-203. 

Lutwich, Lieut.— 233. 

Luz, Fr. Belchior de— 268. 


Macau— 15. 
Macksusaba— 133. 
Madagascar— 9, 12. 
Madeira— Zarco lands in, 6. 
Madre de Deus, Frei Caetano de— 

Madras, settlement in— 97. 
Magellan sails round the world— 13. 
Maghs— 105 ; pirates 130, 157, 162, 

163, 164, 247. 
Mahisadal, Raja of— 200. 
Mahmud Shah— 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 

40, 41. 42, 45, 47, 66. 
Maju— 87. 
Malabar— 16, 115. 

Malacca— 2, 12, 13, 14, 16, 26, 51, 

55, 86, 95, 115, 116, 124, 162. 
Malasia— 172. 
Maldives— 12, 16, 28, 115. 
Malay Archipelago— 14. 
Manar Island— 16, 24. 
Mandarai— 72. 
Mandelslo— 107. 
Mangalore— 15. 
Manilla— 55. 

Manoel, King— 1, 11, 14, 25, 26. 

Manrique, Fr. Sebastiao— his ac- 
count of the Hooghly settlement 
50, 51, 52; 56, 58, 62, 64, 85, 88, 
91. 92.95.96, 103, 114, 117, 129, 
-30. 133. -34, 139. 146, 147, 149, 
150, 228. 

Manucci, N.— 63, 108, 132, 151, 162, 

Marshraan— 206. *- 
Martaban, KinR of— 71, 79, 86. 
Martinho— 85-86. 

Mascarenhas, Fr. Ignatius X.— 

Masnad-i-'Ala, Isa. Khan— 92. 
Massinga King of— 79. 
Master, Streynsham— 63, 126, 152. 
Masulipatam— 15. 

Mattos, Manoel de— 67, 68, 69, 74, 

78, 82, 83. 
Mava— 35. 
Maxima— 85. 
Maya, Luis de— 137. 
Mecao, Castle of— 78. 
Mecca— 71, 172. 
Megasthenes— 2. 



Meghna— 21, 37. 
Melinde-n, 13. 

Mello Juzarte, Captain Marti m 
Affonso de— 31-35 ; first expedi- 
tion under 31, 32 ; ransom of 
32> 33 ; second expedition under 

33i 34, 35>36, 37, 38, 39,40, 43, 
45, 46, 74 ; Ilka de 176 ; 

Mello, Martin Affonso de— 131 ; 
betrays the Portuguese of 
Hooghly 132, 133; bars the 
flight of the Portuguese 136, 137. 

—— Christovam de — 35. 

— Goncalo Vas de— 32. 

Menezes, Antonio de Silva de— 35, 
36, 37 ; sets fire to Chittagong 36. 

Mercenaries, Portuguese— 168. 

Meerpore — 35. 

Midnapore— settlements in 94, 96 ; 

industries in 118, 119; Feringhis 

in 200. 
Militia, Portuguese— 188. 
Minchin, Captain— 191, 
Mir Jumla — 164. 
Mir Najat Khan— 52, 54, 55, 61. 
Mir Muhamad Azim Khan— 147, 148. 
Mirzagol— 108. 
Misquita, Fr.— 247. 
Missions, Rivalry among — 110. 
Mogor— 259, 260, 262. 
MoJIucas— 13, 14, 15. 
Mombassa— ii, 14, 15. 
Monseratte, Fr. A.— 54, 64, 91, 100. 
Montargil— 68. 
Montesquieu— 16. 
Moore, Rev. John— 241. 
» Moor Captain— -166, 167. 
Moors— 2, 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 20, 

25, 59 ; vide Mughals. 
Moran, Mrs.— 246. 
Morculij— 92. 
Morgan, Lieut. — 233. 
Mozambique— -2, 11, 16. 
Mughals— 15, 19. 25, 36, 41, 62, 68. 

86, 87, 95, "6, 128, 134, 135, 

136, 138, 148, 156, 157, 158, 167, 

259, 261, 262. 
Muntakhabul-lubar — 132. 
Mundy, Peter— 125. 
Murghihatta Cathedral— foundation, 

239 ; re-built 240 ; Protestant 

worship in 240 ; erection of 

present building 242. 

Mushaddy, Islam Khan— 158. 
Muscat— 13, 160. 
Muslins of Dacca— 118. 
Mylapore— 14, 236 ; diocese of 104 ; 

107, 108, in. 
Mysadal, Raja of— 96. 


Nadia-taking of, 20. 

Nagory— in. Church in, 247-249, 

purchase of 24. 
Names, Luso- Indian— list of, 179- 

182, 269, 
Nashurna, 82. 

Nasrat Shah— trouble with, 33. 
Nasunta, 52. 

Negamale— de Mello stranded at, 13. 
Negapatain— 160, founding of, 14; 

pearl fishery of, 124 ; ships from, 


Negumbo— Fort of, 15,. taken by 

the Dutch 124. 
Neves, Fr. Jose das— dismissal of, 

Nicobar— 159. 

Nicolau, Fr. Joao de San— 133; 
Memorial of, 142, 145, 149, 150.' 

Nicole, Fillippe de Bnto e— estab- 
lishes a kingdom, 70, 78, 79 ; son 
of, 86. 

Noakhali— feringhis in, 202. ferin. 
ghis reach, 165, 166; Luso- 
Indians in, 202, 203 ; names in 
177 ; settlements, in 90. 

Nogazil, 42. 

Non, Cape— passed, 6; the last 

limit of Spanish exploration, 5. 
Noricoel, vide, Loricul. 
Northcotte, Rev. Thomas— 241. 
Notaries, 63. 

Nunes, Fr. Blasio, (S. J.)— depar- 

turt from Sandwip of, 72. 
Antonio, 47. 

Nuricol— Augustinian, in 104 {vide 

Nur Jahan— 128, 132. 


Ogane,— 9. 

O'Malley,— 64, 74, 196, 200, 203 
230, 232. 



Omrahs— 133, 139. 

Onore— Fort at, 15. 

Ooriya Kings— possessions of 48, 

success of, 52. 
Ooriya language— Portuguese words 

in, 222, 223. 
Orissa— 86, 112; depredation in, 95; 

English ships in, 125; King of, 

54, 55 ; language of, 1745 pirates 

in, 159. 

Ormuz— 2, 9, 13, 14. 16, 33 « con- 

quered by Persians, 124. 
Orta, Garcia da— 176. 
Our Lady of Piety— building of, 

the Church of, 250. 
Our Lady of Rosary-Church of, 

[Hashnabad] 249-250. 
Our Lady of Rosary, Church of 

ITesgaon], 249. 
Ovington— 76, 77* 


Pacem— 14. 

Padrishibpur, Church of— 202. 
Padroado— 110. 
Padua, Fr. Antonio, 244. 
Pahartali— Fort near, 74. 
Paiva, Affonso— goes in search of 

Prester John, 9. 
Paiva, Nicolo de— 93. 
Palmeiro, Stephen— 159. 
Palmeyro, Estevao-83. 
Palmyras, Poiut.— 175. 
Pantalini-da Gama lands at, 12. 
Pardaos— 33, 38. 
Parker— 116, 125. 
Pareres, Nicolo— 93. 
Pascal— 152. 

Pataches, Portuguese— 137. 
Patelbanga— 84. 

Patna— commerce of, 116, 117; 

English agencies at, 125. 
Pedros, 102. 

Pegu— death of de Sampayo at, 43; 
establishment of Kingdom of 
70, 71, 78 ; Jesuits, in 102; power 
of King of Arakan at, 68 ; 
Portuguese language- in 172 ; 
trade with, 13, 15; treaty with 
King of, 14. 

Peguan General— 168. 

Pereira, Diogo, 242, 244. 

Pereira Fr. Juliano— 53, 54, 100. 
—Joseph— 244. 

Ruy Vaz— 30, 31, 159. 

Periplos of the Erythraen Sea — 

Persia— 13, 16, 120, 152. 
Persian language— 204. 
Persian Gulf— 13. 
Petronilla— 85, death of 86. 
Phaloung, Meng— 85. 
Philip, King of Spain— follies of, 

Phillipa, Queen— death of 4- 

marriage of 5. 
Phillipines— 115. 

Pimenta, Fr. Nicolau de— 67, 101, 

Pma, Gaspar de, 83. 

Pinto, Sebastiao— 82, 83. 

Pipli, 116 ; Augustinians in 104 ; 

Churches in, 107 ; settlement at, 

2i 76, 94» 97-99 5 slave-market 

at, 96 ; trade of 142. 
Piracy— 158; Portuguese connection 

with, 158, 159; practices of 162, 

163; rise of, 157, 158. 
Plants introduced by Portuguese in 

Bengal, 253—258. 
Plassey, Battle of, 20. 
Pombal, Marquis of— 110. 
Porto Cavalleiro— gold and sloves 

from, 6. 

Porto Grande— 21, 55, 175 ; trade 
in, 112. 

Porto Pequeno-21, 23, 47, 55, *75 i 

trade in, 112. 
Porto Santo— discovery of, 6. 
Portugal— 2, 12, 14, 15. 
Poule, John— 141, 150. 
Pratapaditya, 9! ; death of, 73, 

murder of Carvalho by, 73. 
Prazeres, Fr. Francisco dos— 

Prester John— 3, 8, 9. 

Prices of goods in Bengal, 117. 

Piepullye, vide Pipli. 

Privileges of Portuguese— 142, 143, 

144, 261, 262. 
Prisoners, Portuguese— 138. 
Products of Bengal— 1 17. 
Proem— treaty with King of, 71, 
Prussians in Bengal— 126. 
Purchas,— 71. 
Ptolemy— 4, 22, 23, 44, 96. 



Queda— 14, 71, 124. 


Rai, Chand— 90. 

Rai, Kedar — 90; Carvalho in service 

of, 68 ; joins King of Arakan, 

69; loses Sandwip, 67. 
Rai, Matak— rebels against King of 

Arakhan, 158. 
Rajaram— as a spy, 190. 
Rajmahal — reinforcements from, 


Ramu — phundered by Gonsalves, 

Rangamati — Churches in, 107. 

Rebello, Diogo-arrival of 37 ; con- 
ducts a defence, 43 ; orders of, 
Ii2 ; success of, 37, 38. 

Red Sea— 13. 

Reitav— trade of 71. 

Rennel— 93, 163. 

Richard II— 5. 

Rio Grande — discovery of, 7. 

Ringletanha — work of, 205 

Rita, Fr. Luiz de Santa— memorial 
of, 142, 149, 150. 

Rodrigues, Br. John, (S.J.) — death 
of, 106. 

Rodrigues, Fr. Benedicto, (S J ) 106. 
Rodrigues— Governor in Hooghly, 

60 ; refuses help to Shah Jah&n, 


Roe, Sir Thomas— 91, 125. 

Rogue's River — 159. 

Roxo, D. Francisco de Menezes— a 
expidition under command of, 
154 ; death of, 155 ; defence of, 

Rozario, Dom Antonio de, 247, 267. 
— — Fr, Manoel de— 247. 
Rupnarayan— 96. 


Sacred Heart of Jesus— Church of 

Saldanha, D. Ayres de— 79. 
Sampayo, Vasco Peres de— 42, 43, 


Lopo Vaz de— 35. 

Salim Shah (Xalamixa)— 78, 79, 85, 
vide Xalamixa. 

Sandwip Island— 20, 48, 75, 78, 86, 
89 ; conquest of, 6?, 68, 69 ; 
second attack on 71 ; captured 
by King of Arakan, 72 j further 
history of, 82 ; second conquest 
of, 83 ; rule of Gonsalves in, 84, 
85; trade in 119 ; Jesuits in 102; 
Gonsalves in, 154, 155, 156, 157 ; 

Sangrangar— 164. 
Santa Maria, Fr. Fernandes — 243. 
Santa Madre de Dens, Church of— 

Santa Rita, Fr. Joaquim de— 242. 
Santa Rita, Fr. Luiz de — 142, 144, 

San Thome— 163, 168. 
Santo Agostinho, Fr. Ambrosio — 
201, 248 ; his Relation 266—268. 
Santo Antonio de Tojal — 81. 
Saraswati, the river — 22, 23, 57. 
Saikar, Jadunath — 164. 
Sasserem — 41. 

Satgaon — its antiquities 22, 23 • 
first settlement in, 39, 43, 44, 

45. 46, 47, 48, 49, 5o. 51, 76 j 
the decline ot, 57 ; trade in, 21, 
112, 113, 117, 161 ; Sarkar of 
231 ; 51, 56, 66, 67, 100, 175. 

Saugor Island — 91 ; refugees in 139 ; 
Jesuits in 106. 

Schuchardt, Dr.— 172. 

Sea-route to India — influence of its 
discovery, 13. 

Sebastiao, Dom— 15, 122, 123. 

Singh, Raja Pitambur— 251. 

Seixas, Pantaleao de— 137. 

Sena — 15. 

Senegal — 7. 

Serampore— Danes in 26 ; Church 
in, 210. 

Shaista Khan— 89, 157, 158; his 
conquest of Chittagong, 164, 
165, 166, 167. 

Shih Jahan— 24, 62, 95, 146, far* 
man of 46, 106, 125, 142, 147, 
148, 151, 229,231; fights with 
Mughal Governor 129; his 
hostility towards the Portuguese 
132, 161 ; his friendship for the 
Portuguese, 141. 



Shah Jahannaraa— 57. 

Shah Shuja— 164, 167 : fartnan of 

144, 231. 
Shahryar— 128. 

Shaw, Mrs. Sebastian — 240, 243, 

Shepherd J. — 157. 

Sher Shah— 19, 24 ; his campaigns 

in Bengal 36, 37, 38, 39i 4° > "8. 
Sheriff, Mrs.— 245. 
Shibpur— Church in^202, 251, 252 ; 

feringhis of 197. * 
Shipbuilding in Sandwlp— 119. 
Ships, Portuguese— 112. 
Shore, Sir John— 231. 
Siam— 13, 14, 71, 172. 
Sicardo— 92, 103. 
Siera Leone, discovered — 8. 
Sikligali— 38. 

Silva, Domingo de~ 197, 252. 
— -Dom Henrique de — 250. 

Elyzabeth de, — 143. 

— — Fr. P. M. de— 233. 

Manoel de— 251. 

Silveira D. Joao de— lands in 

Arakan, 21 ; his expedition to 

Bengal 27-30 ; 20, 66. 
Sinabadi— 70. 

Siraj-ud-dauia— 142, 149, 187; his 
Campaign against the English 
!87» 193 J levies a toll 232. 

Siriam— 15, 68, 79. 

Slave Trade— 184. 162-164; in 
Tamluk 96-97 ; in Pipli 97. 

Socotra— 14, 16. 

Sodoe — 31. 

Sofala— 8, 9, 13, 16. 

Soito (Soto), John Gomes de— his 
disputes with the E. I. C, 152, 
153 ; 230, 232. 

Solicur, Churches in — 107. 

Solimabad— 55. 

Solor— 15, 115. 

Sonargaon— 90, 92. 

Sore— 32. 

Souza. Fr. Domingo de (S. J.)— 101. 

Fr. Francisco de— 53, 54. 

- -Mrs. Sabina Barreto de — 109. 

Salvador Ribeiro de— his victory 

at Siriam 79. 
Souzas, The— 189, 190, 245. 
Spain— 2, 7, 123. 
Spaniards— 16, 199. 

Spindola, Diogo de— 37. 

Sripfir— 59, 69, 71 ; traders at 88, 

89, Churches in 104, 107 ; 

Jesuits in 102 ; settlement in 90. 
Stewart, C— 86. 
Stirling — 99. 

St. Jaques, LeMarquis de— 191. 
St. Leger, Bishop— 119, 244, 252. 
St. Nicholas de Tolentino— Church 

of, at Bandel 228-238 ; Church 

of, at Nagori 247-249. 
St. Patrick's Churches— 246. 
St. Thom6 of Mylapore — vide 

Subarnareka, the river— 90. 
Sumatra— 12, 26, 95, 115. 
Sunda— 18, 31. 

Sunderbans— 24, 25 ; 105, 157, 158, 

159, 161, 163, 167. 
Surat— 71, 115. [269. 
Surnames, Luso-Indian— 179, 180. 
Sutanuti— 239. 

Sylva, Elizabeth— vide Silva, Eliza- 

Taj Khan— 26. 

Talish, Shiab-ud-dln— 96, 165-167; 

account of pirates, 164. 
Tamboli— trade of, 96. 
Tamluk — Angustinians in, 104 ; 

churches in, 96, 107; founding 

of, 97; position of 96. 
Tanasserim, Vide, Tenasserim. 
Tangrakali, ill. 

Tangu— king of, 78, 79; treaty with - 
king of, 71* 

Tavares, Manoel— affront of, 129, 
establishes the Bandel Settle- 
ment, 228; grant to, 148 ; work of, 

Tavares, Pedro— founds Hooghly 
settlement, 51-52 ; Governor in 
Hooghly, 60; grant to, 46; work 
of, 52-54. 

Tavernier— 88, 115, 118. 

Telighari— 38. 

Temple, Sir K. C— 232. 

Tenasserim— merchants of, 71, 84. 

Tench, Mrs. Margaret — builds Mur- 
ghihatta church, 240; tomb of, 




Tennent, Emerson — 171, 173. 
Ternate, Fort in, 14; taken by 

Dutch, 124. 
Tesg&on— 111, church in, 107, in, 


Thevenot— 77, 78, 176. 
Thom6, St.— founding of, 14, 107. 
Tibau, Antonio Carvalho— victory 
of, 85. 

Tibau, Sebastiao Gonsalves, Vide, 

Tidore— made tributary to Portugal, 


Tieffenthaller, Fr. J., (S. J.) 108. 
Timor, 115. 

Tippera — king of, 78; Luso- Indians 
in, 203; raja of, 21; rebellion of 
king of, 87. 

Titulia— 175. 

Tolly's nolla — 23. 

Toynbee— 59, 144. 

Tonquin — Portuguese language In, 

Torrens, Robert— 252. 

Trade— dawn of, 6, 7; Eastern, 10, 
15; of Bengal, 25 ; Portuguese, 
6, 15, 114, 715, 151, 152; with 
Bengal, 26. 

Treaties— 70. 

Tribeni — 48. 

Trincomali— capture of, 124 ; fort of, 

Tuital— ill; church in, 250. 
Tuticorin — pearl fishery of, 124. 
Twenty-four Parganas— judge of, 


Valentyn— 95-97. 

Varthema, Ludovico di— 2, 75. 
Vasconcellos, Duarte Mendes de— 

Vaz, Fr. Antonio, (SJ.) — arrival of, 

Velho, Gongallo— discovers the 

Azores, 6. 
Vicente, Fr., 162. 
Villalobos, Joao de— 38. 
Vrignon, Gabriel — 242. 


Wasjid, Coja— 193. 
Watts, letter of— 187, 191. 
Wellesley, Marquis of— 244. 
Westland — 25. 
Wilson, C.R.- 114. 
Windsor — treaty of, 5. 
Wise, Dr.— 90, 144, 145. 
Words — Feringhi, 206, 207; Luso- 
Indian, 206, 207. 


Xalamixa, I— 98, 79, 85. 
Xalamixa II— 85, 86. 
Xavier, St. Francis — 100. 


Yule, Henry Col, 47, 208. 
Yustlf, Shaikh Zia-ud-dTn, 89, 165. 


Zairie — 8. 
Zanzibar, 8. 

Zarco— lands in Madeira, 6. 

Printed by K, C. Neogi, Nababibkakar Press, 91 js, Machuabazar Street, Calcutta.